Heather Lally, Associate Solicitor, Estate and Trust Practitioner and fully accredited member of Solicitors for the Elderly from FDR Law, explores the issues in estates when unknown relatives appear.
The popular ITV series Long Lost Family presented by Davina McCall is heart warming and can bring a tear to the eye, when there are happy family discoveries and reunions.
But what happens when you discover you have a half brother or sister? A sibling you never knew about from a parent’s previous relationship before you were even conceived? A half sibling never previously mentioned may appear in the later years of someone’s life. They may form an incredible bond with your parent. That child may not have been legally adopted. Your parent may change their Will to include a benefit for your half sibling. Do you like this person? Do you trust them? Why have they suddenly appeared? All questions that may go through your mind.
In dealing with estates, we see all manner of different family members appear and this can easily lead to disagreements and disputes. An up to date Will with clear details of who is to benefit and why on death can help avoid this.
Without a Will in place, the intestacy rules may result in unexpected people benefitting in unexpected ways.
In dealing with an estate as an Executor or Administrator, even if you think the family tree is straight forward, how sure are you? Is a genealogist needed to check the correct position before distributions are paid out to beneficiaries? Are there missing beneficiaries whereby insurance is needed before a distribution is made? Again, a valid Will can avoid the need for these concerns.
At FDR Law we can help you explore all possibilities and options to protect yourself as best you can from the unknowns. FDR can assist in all aspects of estate administration.
For more information in relation to estates please contact Heather Lally on 01928 739300 or email Heather.Lally@fdrlaw.co.uk