Application to admit copy will to probate in the absence of the original will.
Applicants claimed that there was evidence to rebut the presumption that, in the absence of the original will, the deceased had destroyed it with the intention of revoking it.
Deceased died divorced and without issue, leaving a surviving brother and fifteen children of four pre-deceased brothers as persons entitled to her estate on death intestate.
Deceased had made a “home made” will in 1998 in her own handwriting, a copy of which was found after the deceased died. Copy will made a number of specific pecuniary bequests and devised her interest in her home to her brother and two nephews and the residue to all of her nephews and nieces equally.
Evidence was produced that the deceased intended to update her will but had not done so. Evidence was also produced of cognitive impairment with gradual deterioration between 2008-2010.
Held, presumption of destruction with intention to revoke engaged. The deceased did express disquiet about the contents of the 1998 will in writing and to her solicitor. The application to admit the copy will to probate was refused.