Mistakes happen all the time when people are making their estate planning documents. The law is designed to provide fair remedies and solutions for families and loved ones who are victimized by an honest mistake by the deceased relative.
A uniform code for dealing with mistakes in wills is set froth in the Restatement of Property (Third)- Wills and Donative Transfers, which provides:
§ 12.1 Reforming Donative Documents To Correct Mistakes
“A donative document, though unambiguous, may be reformed to conform the text to the donor’s intention if it is established by clear and convincing evidence (1) that a mistake of fact or law, whether in expression or inducement, affected specific terms of the document; and (2) what the donor’s intention was. In determining whether these elements have been established by clear and convincing evidence, direct evidence of intention contradicting the plain meaning of the text as well as other evidence of intention may be considered.” Read the rest of this entry