DEATH BED WILL

I was just wondering. What are the rules ect when one makes a death bed will eg in the hospital. What formalities should be observed ie witnesses, what happens to the will you have just done, who will be the lawyer , are the witnesses supposed to complete what ever needs to be done .Are the family members alloed to see the will at that time? etc etc

thanks
15:10 Fri 24th Sep 2010
 
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wizard
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Just out of interest, where are you located? English and Welsh law differs to Scottish law (albeit only minimally) and both differ to American law. Although the general principle of will making is similar in each country, nobody can give you a definitive answer until we know where you are from!

However, I can give you some general advice on English law and...
16:54 Fri 24th Sep 2010 Go To Best Answer

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it's just the same as any other will - you don't need a solicitor, but do need witnesses. What happens to the will immediately afterwards depends on what the person who is writing it wants to happen to it - there is nothing "set" maybe they will give it to the person who is being the executor - that would make sense. Solicitors will do visits to hospitals if required though. Regards to ramily members - the executor dosen't have to show them.
A socilitor will come to the hospital and usually brings his secretary as a witness. I suppose if the person making the will wants family members to be present then it would be allowed. I think a doctor will be required to confirm that the person is of sound mind.
A witness cannot be a beneficiary of the person who is making the will.

This may help.

http://www.adviceguid...essarytouseasolicitor
Question Author
That was agood link , Lofty.
Now here is the scenario
Lets say I am on death bed in a hospital for a routine, say heart problem.Suddenly I am told I could go anytime or hour. So I say I need to make a will. 2 nurses are present so thay agree to be witnesses and I ask one of them or someone else to write the will(or I can If able to) and all formalities of executors, witnesses are observed. Then I pop off. So far no soilicitor has been involved. .My family members are informed who then come to the hospital.Ok what happens next?

Please note this an idle curiosity which sometimes comes into ones head and doesnot go away, eg No humans look alike(exc some exeptions like twins etc). Does this apply to animals and birds. They seem to look all alike to me. Thanks
Just out of interest, where are you located? English and Welsh law differs to Scottish law (albeit only minimally) and both differ to American law. Although the general principle of will making is similar in each country, nobody can give you a definitive answer until we know where you are from!

However, I can give you some general advice on English law and will making for your specific scenario.

The important point has already been covered, the witnesses. Providing you have at least two independent witnesses, then the rest is a doddle. Don't worry about writing your will in Olde English, Latin or any other fancy lingo that you might see splashed around elsewhere. As long as you have the correct framework in place, your last will and testament will still be vaild.

The idea of a will is to formalise or at least take a step towards finalising to whom or where your assets are dispersed when you pass away. When writing a will, you need to nominate somebody or a company (usually a firm of solicitors) to act as an Executor. There is no limit as to how many Executors you have, however the general rule of thumb is between 1-3, anymore than 3 and it becomes a bit more of a grind to administer the estate after your death.

Now say for example you are in hospital (on your death bed) and you make a will but you don't want solicitor involvement, that's no problem. You would write your first passage in your will as something along the lines of "I nominate my close friend John Smith, currently of 123 The Street, London, to be my sole executrix of this, my will". What you have done by naming him as your Executor, is give him the legal ability to now undertake full responsibilities of executing your estate. What this means is, it will be John Smith's responsibility to collect all of your assets and distribute them as according to the beneficiaries that you have nominated within your will. He will also be responsible for pay
Question Author
I am in England.
Next question If I may. Lets say I do no have time to make a death bed will in WRITINg. But enough time to speak only. Could I just say whatever to the 2 witnesses? Do they have to take notes(might not be possible depending on my state or say lack of writing material?
It's possible to make a nuncupative will which is an oral will, however this can lead to many complexities when trying to deal with the appropriate parties after death (banks, insurance companies etc) and is seldom accepted as a valid will. In this case, you would be classed as dying intestate and your personal representatives would need to applying for a Grant of Letters of Adminstration, which subsequently grants them the authority to deal with your estate.

It's also worth noting (especially on death bed wills) that if you were to make a will, and then get married to perhaps a long term partner prior to dying, the will, will become revoked. This means you would die without a valid will.
< 2 nurses are present so thay agree to be witnesses >

I have a feeling many hospitals - certainly nursing homes - have policies forbidding staff to do this.

But that's a side issue - two witnesses who do not benefit from the will are all that is required.
Yes, most hospitals and nursing homes forbid staff from witnessing lest it turns out that the wiil contains gifts to the hospital or staff or is written in any other way which might suggest undue influence was exercised over the testator.

The best reason for having a solicitor in such cases is that professional rules require the solicitor to be satisfied that the person is acting freely and knows and understands what he or she is doing, and to be ready to make a full report, in case the will is contested.

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