Williams on Wills

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Williams on Wills covers every aspect of the modern law of wills and is the definitive practitioner textbook on this area of law.

This textbook is updated approximately every four years. Cumulative supplements are published approximately annually until the new main edition is published.

This online source covers all the commentary in Volume 1 of Williams on Wills. The precedents in Volume 2 are covered in the separate source: Williams on Wills Precedents.

The work includes the Wills Act 1837 (Electronic Communications) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Order 2020, which came into force on 28 September 2020 and which amends section 9 of the 1837 Act, permits a testator’s signature to be witnessed by video-conference, but applies only to wills made between 31 January 2020 and 31 January 2022.

Recent cases included in this edition are Re Moore (2019), a case about conditional revocation; Ninian v Findlay (2019), the claimant had reluctantly assisted her husband’s suicide by arranging his journey to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland; Amos v Mancini (2020), the claimant had accidentally caused her husband’s death in a car crash; Challen v Challen (2020), the claimant had pleaded guilty to manslaughter of her husband, who had abused her for many years. In all three cases, relief was granted and the claimants received their legacies.

The language of the precedents in Volume 2 is supplemented by the removal of some of the more old-fashioned forms. There are new forms for trustees’ remuneration (see B21), tailored in response to the judgment in Da Silva v Heselton (2021), and for the remote attestation of wills (see B22).

The law is stated as at 20 November 2021.


James A.D MacDougald; BA (York) of Lincolns Inn, Barrister  Editorial team member
R A Wallington, MA (Cantab) Barrister, A Bencher of Lincolns Inn  Editorial team member
Susannah L Meadway, MA (Oxon) of the Middle Temple and Lincolns Inn, Barrister  Editorial team member
RFD Barlow, MA (Oxon) One of Her Majesty's Counsel, A Bencher of Lincolns Inn  Consultant editor
James E Kirby, MA (Oxon), DPhil (Oxon) Of the Inner Temple, Barrister 10 Old Square, Lincoln’s Inn, London WC2A 3SU  Contributor