Drafting wills


When drafting wills for a couple it is very important to resist the temptation to use the will for one will-maker as a template for the other.

Given the terms on which most wills are drafted, it is easy to fail to accurately replace words such as “his”, “hers”, “husband” and “wife”.

While the intent of such a will remains, clear, a will that contains such errors will not be able to be probated until an application has been made to correct the will under s. 31 of the Wills Act 2007.  See Re Nolan Deceased; Wills Act 2007, s 31

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Who is the owner of property is important to clarify.  A will-maker cannot bequeath a vehicle or property that is owned not by the will-maker, but say by a related company.

See for example Meier v Rose  where a bequest failed as the property in question was owned by a company not the will-maker personally.


  • See Re Nolan Deceased [2014] NZHC 1499
  • Wills Act 2007, s 31
  • High Court Rules, r 7.46(2)
  • Meier v Rose 2012 ABQB 82.


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