Middle names being shortened make a will invalid?

Asked about 2 years ago - Los Angeles, CA

My papa died recently and in his will his middle named was shorted from francis to frank, do middle names matter with validating a will? such as tom instead of thomas, frank instead of francis, joe instead of joesph, greg instead of gregory?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Joseph Jonathan Brophy

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If the proper formalities are followed in executing the Will, it is presumptively valid. Witnesses are required to eliminate any question of who the testator was or whether he or she was competent to make a Will (I am skipping over holographic, unwitnessed wills which a few states recognize). Wills use variations in peoples' names all the time. If there is a serious question about identifying a beneficiary, that is an issue for interpretation of the Will but should not invalidate it.

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  2. Steven J. Fromm

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Mr Brophy offers sound advice and says it all. This really should not be a problem.

    Hope this helps.

    Please remember to designate a best answer to your question.

    Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336, his email address is sjfpc@comcast.net , for more tax, estate and business articles visit his website www.sjfpc.com. and blog

    LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia... more
  3. James P. Frederick

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I agree with both of the prior responses. I always ask clients "how they want their names to appear," in the documents. Some prefer to use the entire middle name, some prefer to leave it out, entirely. Some prefer an initial or two. It does not have legal significance, as long as you can identify that it is that person's Will.

    James Frederick

    *** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and... more

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