French Court Follows Succession Rules Against Wills Instruction Due to ‘Illegible Date’

A Provençal court in France has set precedent in the Wills & Estate Planning, by handing down judgment on a dispute over the estate of the wealthy Lady Wendy Blake’s estate , who had removed her children from the entirety of her will and given her estate to a neighbour who had befriended her in her final years in France.

The UK charity, Dogs Trust, was a party to the litigation proceedings, as Lady Blake had chosen it to be the main beneficiary of her French and Swiss-based assets under an earlier drafted will; even though she later transferred a number of French properties and assets to the neighbour while naming him as residuary legatee under a will drafted in English. The French court ruled that French forced heirship succession rules applied to her whole estate except for the UK real estate portion, and held that the handwritten will is null and void due to the date being illegible.