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Sharia wills furore missed the point

People have always been able to draft wills that cut others out. Whether this is motivated by religion, spite or an impulse to leave everything to a donkey sanctuary is irrelevant, says Simon Pedley

8 April 2014

Nothing in the Law Society’s recently published practice note on Sharia inheritance changes what is needed for a will to be valid, despite the media furore.

It must be executed under the Wills Act, the testator must have mental capacity, they must approve the contents and the will must not have been procured by undue influence.

Testators can be unpredictable. However, the more capricious their actions, the more doubt can be cast on mental capacity or whether they were influenced.

The law does, however, recognise people who can expect appropriate provision from a deceased’s estate, in the form of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. Various people are entit...

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