It is often the scenario where people wonder and ask why should we have a Will and hold the view that all will be fine when they pass away. More often than not it’s not the case. Consider the following:
Mr M hadn’t prepared a valid Will when he died suddenly in a car accident. His loved ones expected he had a Will given he was very organised in every aspect of his life.
His family commenced the painstaking process of locating a Will to see what his wishes were. They contacted previous solicitors and eventually found a Will at the Public Trustees office.
This Will however was no longer valid as 10 years ago (when he made and signed the Will) Mr M was married. Several years ago Mr M had divorced. Divorce is one the main circumstances where a Will is no longer valid.
Mr M still owned a home with his ex-wife even though he no longer lived there. This was set up when the couple purchased it many years ago as joint tenants on the title to the property. In the event a jointly owned property is under a joint tenancy, regardless of the wishes in a Will, the property automatically passes to the surviving joint tenant – in this case Mr M’s ex-wife. Many are not aware of how their properties are set up when purchased. I it’s important to check this.
His family and in particular his children, being devastated and unsure what to do, engaged a solicitor to assist them through a difficult time.
Mr M’s children and grandchildren were not provided for which meant the family had to file proceedings in the Supreme Court to administer the estate, this process was lengthy and expensive. The estate of Mr M was depleted as a result of the costs given the estate is required to pay all expenses in this case..
At a time of sadness they were also dealing with extensive legal issues which was all a direct result of Mr M not having a valid Will.
It important to review your circumstances and finances regularly thereby ensuring that when you pass away your family and loved ones are cared for. A Will assists this hugely.
Please reach out to us we can help with inheritance (estate) planning – we offer a no charge initial chat to discuss your needs and concerns.