Malicious Destruction

A maliciously destroyed Will is one that has been hidden, concealed or deliberately destroyed by someone, usually a benificiary. It is thought that the main reason a Will is destroyed is so person can benefit from inheriting something that was promised to them in an old Will, but not in a newer Will.

For example, let's imagine that someone made a bequest to leave jewellery to a friend in a Will they wrote ten years ago. Last year, they changed their mind and decided to write a new Will leaving that jewellery to a charity. The person then, sadly, passes away. The old friend, in a case of malicious destruction, would discard the new Will and the solicitor acting for the deceased may then assume that the old Will was the last Will the person wrote: they would have no reason to think otherwise.

The old Will would be used and the old friend would get the jewellery.

This would not be the outcome that the person who wrote the Will would have wanted but, of course, they have now passed away and are unable to do anything to prevent this from happening.

If the new Will had been registered with Find a Will then this could have been prevented because the date of the new Will would have been registered and the solicitor would have known about the newer Will.

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