+44(0)20 7638 9271

Lunchtime charity seminar: The charity sector and the dangers of the DIY will

We were delighted to welcome barrister, Richard Wilson, to Druces’ offices to give a talk to an audience of charities on 20 January 2016.

Richard successfully represented four charities in their legal battle over the right to share a £1.8 million inheritance after a lengthy dispute and he shared his experiences on this case with an interested charity audience over lunch at Druces.

Dorothy Whelen, who died in 2012, had signed a mirrored Will along with her husband in 1982 which left her estate to charities including Marie Curie Cancer Care, The Royal National Institutes of Blind and Deaf People and the Royal Institute of Cancer Care. However, following her death, a later DIY Will was found which was signed in 1999. This document left the bulk of her estate to life-long friend Mrs Turner, who is now aged 95 and suffering from severe dementia. As a result of two contrasting Wills being found, this led to a legal challenge from both parties.  An interesting element in this case, which led the judge to question the validity of the Will was the fact that the witnesses of the later Will claim to have no memory of seeing Mrs Whelen or of witnessing the Will.

Druces have already looked at this case in some detail and if you would like to look at some of the issues in question please take a look at our briefing on the case.  If you would like to talk to somone about the issues involved in the case or would like to be added to mailing list for the next charity lunchtime charity seminar, please contact Rachel Diedrich.