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Legal Matters By Hugh Whitlock Solicitors


Will you - or won’t you? A Cautionary Tale The importance of having a Will to deal with your estate on your death cannot be overstated. It is, however, a common misconcepon that a Will always has the ‘final say’ on the distribuon of an estate.


A Will can be challenged under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975. Under this Act your wishes can be challenged by a family member or dependant, if the Will appears to have not made reasonable provision for that person.


The effect of this legislaon was given media aenon last year when the Court


of Appeal awarded £164,000 (of a £480,000 estate, which had been le to charity) to a disinherited daughter who was claiming benefits to support her five children. Her mother had specifically stated that she did not want her daughter to receive anything. This award was structured so that she could connue to claimbenefits.


The beneficiary charies, who had lost out by this award have now, aer a decade of the case rumbling on, been given leave to appeal. Their aim is to obtain definive guidance on how and when the law can be used to overturn the provisions of a Will.


This appeal probably won’t be heard for another 18 months. In the meanme, as a result of this decision, if you are contemplang excluding a family member from your Will, you can probably safely do so providing you are closely involved with your chosen beneficiary. You may, though, consider making provision to minimise the possibility that a claimcould subsequently be made.


‘The devil is in the detail’ and a properly considered and draed Will could potenally save a fortune in legal costs, borne by your estate, in the event that a claim is made.


Hugh Whitlock Solicitors Thank you Oakhaven


To donate £5 please text: OAKH45 £5 to 70070


Oakhaven Hospice, Lower Pennington Lane, SO41 8ZZ


01590 677773 18


Registered Charity Number 900215 (England & Wales)


provide cost effecve, confidenal and straighorward advice on Wills and probate maers.


Contact Hugh or Niels on 01590 644777 or legal@hwsolicitors.com


To adverse call 01590 643969 or e‐mail info@lymingtondirectory.co.uk


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