A NEW legal book will, for the first time, enable Welsh speakers to have virtually any will they like written in Welsh.
Ian Sydenham, from the Chester office of law firm Hill Dickinson LLP, who translated the wills into Welsh for the new book, said this is believed to be the first time in centuries that legal documents, written in Welsh, have been commercially produced.
Drafting Trusts and Will Trusts, contains all of the most common forms of wills translated into Welsh.
Although it has been legal for wills to be written in Welsh, the lack of Welsh legal precedents, have meant they have been exceedingly rare as the cost of drafting them from scratch would be prohibitively expensive.
Ian Sydenham explained that over time, as more and more legal documents are translated from English into Welsh, the nuances of each language will result in a subtle shift in the meaning and legal interpretations of the legal texts.
Eventually, Welsh law would diverge away from the English legal system.
Mr Sydenham said: “Welsh speakers will be buoyed by this move. It will make drafting even the most complicated will or trust structure in Welsh a practical matter.”
One of the authors of the book, James Kessler QC, said having wills written in Welsh could be a major step in the development of a distinctive and separate Welsh legal system.
He said: “This is a new and important development for the Welsh language and for Welsh nationalism. The use of Welsh is becoming more widespread and there is growing demand from Welsh speakers, who want to be able to conduct legal and financial affairs in their own language.
“It’s right the legal profession should now respond to this. This is a major step forward for Welsh speakers who will now have the opportunity to have their wills and trusts drafted in Welsh.”