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The importance of updating Will for married couples ?

A recent court case has emphasised the significance of married couples having Wills which makes provision for unusual life events. See below news update from our Will writing service in Enfield team.

In this case, Mrs Margaret Bailey died of cancer in February 2019 and her husband Alan passed away three months later in unexpected circumstances. The couple did not have any children and as such, they had made Wills leaving everything to each other on death. Their Wills did not provide for contingency beneficiaries in the event that one passed away after the other.

The issue arose as Alan failed to create a new Will before passing away. The effect of this was that all of the couple’s assets went to Alan’s family (under the rules of intestacy) as the surviving partner and nothing was left for Margaret’s family. Although the Court found that it was clearly not the couple’s intentions to benefit solely Alan’s family, its hands were tied in this matter by law and Margaret’s family were entitled to nothing.

This caused a family dispute with the matter ending up in Court with Margaret’s siblings alleging that she had made a gift to them on her deathbed. However, the Court concluded that the strict rules around a valid deathbed gift was not met in this case.

As such, all the couple’s assets were inherited by Alan’s family only.

This sad case highlights the importance of ensuring that:

  1. Wills are done in a timely manner. The Court heard that Alan had intended to amend his will following Margaret’s death but failed to do so.
  2. Wills are professionally drafted and create contingency provisions for ‘what if’ scenarios. If Alan and Margaret’s wills had contingency plans in the event that one died before the other than the unfortunate events that followed on their deaths would have been avoided.

Adel Jibs & Co’s experienced Wills solicitors are happy to assist should you wish to amend or review your Will. We cover areas in Enfield, Edmonton, Tottenham and across London. Why not contact us for our Will writing service in Enfield?

We are also available happy to conduct home visits all over London in the event that you are unable to attend our offices.

 

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