Recently one of our long standing clients, Jane (not her real
name) passed away. Jane had mentioned to us several times in the
past few years that she really needed to update her Will but
despite our follow ups had never made the time to come and see us
or send us an email setting out her thoughts.
Jane's situation is not uncommon, Jane had two children from
a previous marriage, had been divorced and was in a new
relationship for the last two years prior to her death, at which
time she also had a six month old child from that relationship.
Unfortunately Jane's last Will was made eight years ago, just
after the birth of her eldest child.
Jane's legal position is complex. Her divorce and subsequent
marriage means that her previous Will is of no effect (although
this is probably an advantage in her instance). Jane will be
regarded as having died "intestate" and the provisions of
the Administration Act 1969 will apply. However, there are
potential Property (Relationships) Act and Family Protection Act
issues that may impact on the final distribution of Jane's
There is no guaranteed outcome here that is going to satisfy the
various parties. The children from the first marriage and her child
from her second relationship are most likely all going to feel
resentful about what has occurred. This could affect them and the
relationships with each other and their surviving parents for
Dealing with your Will can be a complex matter. That doesn't
mean that it is suitable to put aside these obligations
particularly where you have children. By ignoring the need to
properly create will instructions that make sense (and preferably
are agreed with and understood by all those affected) you are
simply passing the problems on to others in the event that you
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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To ensure that all possible problems are considered and addressed, the transactions must be appropriately documented.
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