Will written on scrap of paper earns inheritance for unmarried partner

Sue Singer 56, who refused to let her partner of 16 years go paragliding without writing a will says she would have lost £400,000 were it not for the will written in a Turkish hotel and witnessed by two barmen.

In 2004 Sue and her partner Paul were staying in Turkish resort when Paul decided he wanted to go paragliding.

Paul wrote the will on a scrap of paper in the bar, with two waiters able to witness it. However, they did not include their full names and addresses and therefore, according to the Probate Office, was invalid.

The couple returned home and not long after Paul was diagnosed with lung cancer and died shortly thereafter.

Sue remembered the will and contacted a Turkish lawyer and he rang the hotel. Thankfully the waiters still worked at the hotel and remembered the couple and signing the will.

They agreed to go to a Notary and fill in the missing sentence thus validating the will.

The paperwork was completed and with this a renewed application was made to the probate office and the probate was granted allowing Sue to collect her inheritance which included a property and a business amounting to £400,000.

A number of factors result from this matter:

A common law partner is not recognised in the eyes of the law and whilst in this case Sue may have been able to claim under the Family Inheritance Act it would be complicated and the rules of intestacy would apply. She may not have received the full inheritance.

In order for a will to be valid it has to be executed in accordance with the law and has to be witnessed in front of two witnesses and they have to sign in the presence of the person making the will.