A will is meant to be an expression of one's last wishes. However, if it's drafted unfairly or without proper consideration of all its parties, the consequences could be far-reaching.
Not only can financial confusion arise when a will isn't fairly distributed; but it can also cause emotional stress and resentment amongst family members who thought they were due the inheritance promised to them. That's why creating a fair and legally binding will should never be taken lightly.
If you're looking to make provisions for your loved ones after you've died, instructing a solicitor to prepare your will with you is incredibly important. A solicitor will be able to advise you on the merits of your will and any potential contentious points that dis-inherited family members may raise when you die.
A recent case example
A recent ruling at the High Court may set a precedent that demonstrates this point.
Mr Singh left his entire estate (over £1m) to his two sons, leaving out his wife of 66 years and his four daughters.
High court judge Mr Justice Peel was told Mr Singh who died in 2021 ''wished to leave his estate solely down the male line''.
Mrs Kaurs solicitor argued that this would leave Mrs Kaur without reasonable provision as she had an income of state benefits which only amounted to approximately £12,000 per year.
The court ruled that 50% of the estate should go to Mrs Kaur and could set the precedent for the 'the most vulnerable individuals' to seek justice without having to endure a trial.
How to avoid this issue
As we've outlined, having a solicitor assist with the drawing up of a will is the best way to protect your final wishes. A lawyer will be able to advise you on how practical your wishes are and more importantly, how you can draft your will in such a way that it's more defensible against such claims.
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.