Clerical Error Rectification

The probate registry have rejected a will that is out of numerical order due to a clerical error the will goes clause 1,2,3,5,6 and misses 4. This doesn’t affect any entitlement or contents of a will. They have asked for rectified will and affidavit,

Would a witness statement from the person who prepared and witnessed it suffice - does this have to be sworn.

What format should the affidavit take please sworn by the executor. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Is it a missing page numbered “4”, or is it a missing clause no.“4”? If a missing clause, are the end of clause 3 and beginning of clause 5 both on the same page as each other?

Paul Davidoff
New Quadrant

Hi its the clause not the page and yes it is at the end of the page so clause 3 on first page then continues onto the next page and then on the second page clause 5 starts below it.

I hope that makes sense so clause three wording continues onto the next page.

It sounds as though the Probate Registry think there is a page missing. Is there page numbering? That might also help. Although it might read entirely logically as it stands, theoretically there might have once been an additional page which had the end of clause 3 on it, all of clause 4 and the beginning of clause 5.

I am not sure what their requirement for a “rectified will” will entail, especially if there is no “rectification” as such - unless they mean rectification as to the numbering of clauses, which rather seems like a waste of time, effort and money.

If you are satisfied that the Will is complete and correct, then initially I would ask the Probate Registry whether an affidavit on its own will be acceptable (to save court time and cost - bearing in mind the “overriding objective” in the CPR to save court time, resources, costs, etc, etc). Requiring a formal application for rectification would not seem to be in accordance with the overriding objective if it would be just as satisfactory for a solicitor (who prepared it and acted as a witness) to swear an affidavit that the Will is complete in its present form.

Paul Davidoff
New Quadrant

Thats really helpful Paul.

Do you know if the PR would still accept a witness statement from the solicitor who prepared the will rather than affidavit?

I am not sure what difference there would be, other than an affidavit being a sworn statement and a WS having a “statement of truth”. Practically speaking, I would have thought that there is no material difference from the Registry’s standpoint if a solicitor (as an officer of the court) is making the statement. The key, though, is to ask the Probate Registry what they will accept. There is no point sending a WS if the PR actually wants an affidavit.

Paul Davidoff
New Quadrant

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Hi Paul

Thank you for your guidance and time with this question, i very much appreciate it.