Our expert solicitors for Wills discuss why you should review your Wills more often
Posted on 9th July 2021
Our expert local solicitors for Wills discuss the use of familiar familial terminology in Wills and how often you should review your Will arrangements.
At MG Legal, we sadly hear stories all too often of people who want to ensure that they are providing for their family under their written Wills, but do not review their Wills when their family has changed. This can lead to disputes after death, which can be very costly and can cause great amounts of stress for those involved, whether that be the claimant or the respondents.
One such recent case highlights the importance of ensuring that your Will is reviewed when your family circumstances change, especially if your Will references certain members of your family whose relationship to you could legally change (i.e. your relative’s spouses).
Maya Gocheva-Ash recently brought a claim against the estate of her deceased mother-in- law, her husband having died 18 months before his mother. In her mother-in-law’s Will, if her son had died before her, his share was to pass to his ‘wife’, Cindy Ash. The Will was made in 2009 when Cindy was married to her ex-husband.
Maya’s argument was that her husband’s share of the estate should pass to her as his wife, Cindy no longer holding this title. The argument against Maya’s was that the Will specifically named Cindy and therefore the intention must have been for her to receive the share, the deceased having had opportunity to amend her Will since Cindy’s divorce finalised in 2013. In fact, Cindy contested that she had remained close with her mother-in- law.
Ultimately, the Court decided in favour of Cindy and Maya was ordered to cover £50,000 of costs incurred by Cindy and her brother-in-law. Whilst our team do not know the intricate ins-and-outs of this particular case, the lesson that can clearly be taken from it is that if your family circumstances change at all, even if your loved one is getting divorced and you do not think this has anything to do with you, review your Will.
Something as simple as the use of a familiar familial term when naming someone in your Will could cause quite a stir on your death. Reviewing your Will does not necessarily mean forking out thousands of pounds on a consultation with a solicitor for Wills near you. Instead, take out your Will (or a copy of it), and check that everything contained in it makes sense to you and is what you would want to happen.
If there is anything whatsoever that you are unsure of (even if it is just a case of one word that does not make sense) or if there is anything you think you may want to change, contact your local Wills solicitors near you and discuss it with them. The only way to ensure that your wishes are carried out after your death is to make sure that you have an up-to-date valid Will in place which reflects your wishes.
It may seem like something that you do not want to be spending money on, especially as, with restrictions easing, we can all start to see our spending increasing again, however, with our expert team offering fixed fee Wills from £140 plus VAT, this is a small price to pay to ensure that your estate is dealt with how you would want it to be after your death. Whilst our team do not know the intricate ins-and-outs of this particular case, the lesson that can clearly be taken from it is that if your family circumstances change at all, even if your loved one is getting divorced and you do not think this has anything to do with you, review your Will. Something as simple as the use of a familiar familial term when naming someone in your Will could cause quite a stir on your death.
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You can contact our expert team of local solicitors online, here, or contact your local office directly. You may be wondering, 'do MG Legal have a local solicitors near me?', and if you live in the Lancashire area, the answer is probably yes. MG Legal have three office locations, in Longridge, Lancaster, and Garstang for the surrounding Preston area.
Our team are available during office hours, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. For assistance outside of office hours, email firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of the team will get back to you as soon as possible.
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