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FDR Law Legal Clinic - Don't put off making a Will

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FDR Law Legal Clinic Stephen Lawson, Partner at FDR Law discusses the Importance of Making a Will

Q: My long term partner is reluctant to discuss making a Will, neither of us are getting younger and I am worried about the future, what can you advise?

A:  I have been working as a Solicitor for over 30 years and every day that passes I feel like I sound like Victor Meldrew by saying ‘I don’t believe it’. 

Sadly that usually relates to cases of Inheritance Disputes when families fall out about the estate of a family member who has died. 

Many of these disputes wouldn’t have arisen if a formal Will had set out their wishes. A couple of recent examples highlight this:

  1. A businessman had been with his partner for over 20 years.  He had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and was advised to make a Will. He didn’t and none of his estate went to his long-term partner but instead to the children of his former wife.  The disagreement that followed between family members could have been avoided if he had made a carefully considered Will that made provision for the partner he loved.
  2. Another businessman was in partnership with his brother.  They both received professional advice to make Wills, and to update them from time to time.  They did both made a Will to ensure the continuation of their business but failed to update their Wills when their business changed from a Limited company to a partnership.  Therefore, the provisions in the Will relating to the company shares became invalid when one brother died unexpectedly.

We hear from clients that the loved one ‘never thought that they would die’ and so put off making a Will.   There are steps that can be taken at this point, and we would always recommend that you seek professional specialist advice.

For legal advice concerning Will Disputes contact Stephen Lawson on 01928 739300 or stephen.lawson@fdrlaw.co.uk, to arrange an appointment to make a Will contact Ian Sydenham on 01925 230000 ian.sydenham@fdrlaw.co.uk

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