A recent report has found that 55% of adults still don’t have a Will. Although there has been an increase in recent years, it is still a worrying trend that over half of adults are leaving their legacy in the balance.
Without a Will, there is no guarantee that your estate will go to those you wish. If you pass away without a Will, the law of intestacy will be applied. This law cannot possibly ensure that your responsibilities to family and dependants are fully discharged. This is even more true in more complicated families with two or more marriages and non-marital relationships.
For example, in a 2017 case between Ilott v Mitson, a child who hadn’t had contact with the deceased loved one for a lengthy period of time was able to make a claim against the estate. 15 or more years ago, I would have been able to assure you that such a claim was extremely unlikely. No longer is that the case.
It is also possible that your estate may not be left entirely to your relatives. Recently, a man aged 63 had been living with a widow for over 20 years in her house. In her Will, the man was left £5,000.
However, he successfully claimed a life interest for half the value of her house, as well as ensuring £20,000 is made available to him to adapt an alternative house for his needs.
The need to make a Will and to ensure that the Will is regularly reviewed is now essential. The Private client team at Astle Paterson are able to assist testators in identifying their responsibilities to relatives and dependants so as to minimise the prospects of a successful claim against their estates.
If you need advice on making your Will, we offer a free 30 minute Will Review Consultation. Our expert solicitors can advise you on your Will and help you to choose the right executor for your estate.
To find out more about our Wills & Probate services, please take a look at our services to learn more about what we can do to help you organise your Will.
You might also be interested in our video “Wills, your commonly asked questions answered”.
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