October 19, 2012
Arthur Beetson's Will
The Queensland Rugby Player, Arthur Beetson, drafted two different wills in 2000. The two wills were the product of "two homemade will kits,...witnesses by the same people, both name the same executor and both left his estate equally to the same six beneficiaries." So, what is the difference between the wills? Well, Mr. Beetson wrote one of the wills in Old English and the other is plain English. Put another way, all of the words "hereby" were replaced with "do" and all of the words "forthwith" were replaced with "will." Otherwise the two wills are identical. When Mr. Beetson gave the two wills to his executor, the executor believed that he had received the original and a copy of the same will. The problem for the executor soon became determining which will Mr. Beetson signed last. The judge in this case determined that the wills should be read together as one document.
See Amy Remeikis, Artie's Will Tackles Language Barrier, Brisbanetimes.com, Oct. 16, 2012.
Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) and Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.
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