Why might a gift in my will fail?

If circumstances have changed or the will is worded poorly then gifts may not come into effect in the way you want. It’s vital your will is written clearly and correctly.

There are two main reasons a gift might fail:

Circumstances have changed

Examples of changes in circumstances that can cause a gift to fail include:

  • The Testator no longer owns the item or property matching the description in the will.
  • The Beneficiary dies before the person who made the will.
  • A charity mentioned in the will no longer exists.
  • There are not enough assets in the estate to satisfy the gift.

Affio helps you plan what happens if circumstances change. See our article on What happens when a gift fails.

The beneficiary or gift can’t be identified.

Examples can include:

  • A gift is unclear – ‘I leave my house to my daughter Mary’, when you have more than one house.
  • A beneficiary being unclear – ‘I leave my brother…’, when you have more than one brother.
  • Beneficiaries cannot be forced to take a gift, so a gift might also fail because a beneficairy refuses to accept it. A gift to a beneficiary would also fail if that beneficiary witnessed the will.

    At Affio we will help you ensure that both the person and the gift is correctly identified and specified. Once that is done we create will clauses using language provided by legal experts to ensure your wishes are expressed in the proper legal manner, ensuring the right person gets the right gift.


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