What happens if a Will has the maker’s name spelled incorrectly?

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What happens if a Will has the maker’s name spelled incorrectly?

My mom’s birth certificate and social security card is spelled “Winnifred” but she has went by “Winifred” all her life; her Will is now made out as “Winifred”. What will happen in court if someone contests the Will or should we redo the whole Will with the correct name?

Asked on December 27, 2015 under Estate Planning, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

A will's validity (or, for that matter, the validity of a contract, power of attorney, health care proxy, etc.) will not be affected by a minor mispelling or typographic error, such as using one "n" instead of the two that the birth certificate and social security card show.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

So long as identity of the maker of a Will can properly be determined, a slight name deviation (such as the one you describe), does not invalidate a Will. Your mother need not re-do hers (unless she wants to for peace of mind). Legally her Will should stand in court if it comes down to that. 


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