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Partner and Head of Family Law, Rugby
With spring pleasantly around the corner and the promise of your favourite flowers and plants once again, coming into bloom. Use this season of renewal to consider your Will.
Your Will is like a garden. It requires regular attention and maintenance. You would not plant a sunflower in the shade and expect it to bloom year after year. You would review and amend the living environment of the plant to fulfil its purpose of flowering.
Importantly, you also need to prioritise reviewing your Will to reflect any changes in your own personal environment.
A recent case (Davey v. Bailey ) has thrown light on the importance of “getting around” to reviewing and updating your Will.
Alan and Margaret Bailey were a married couple who had no children, and each made Wills leaving their estate to the other. Margaret died in January 2019 and following this, it was Alan’s intention to make a new Will. However, sadly Alan died in May 2019 without executing his new Will.
As Alan’s Will did not make substitute provision in the event that Margaret predeceased him, everything passed to Alan’s siblings. This meant Margaret’s siblings were not entitled to anything and the inheritance was not split equally between both sides of the family (which the court found would have been their wishes).
I often hear people discuss updating their wills, but they never seem to find the time, often leaving this task on the backburner. If this global pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that life is truly never predictable. Alan Bailey in the case above, had no thoughts of his own sudden passing and left his Will undone.
We highly recommend that you review your Will at least every 3 – 5 years to see if it requires changes but especially if you have experienced personal environment changes, including but not limited to:
Do not let your bereaved loved ones experience a long and often stressful court case like Margaret’s family had to! Put in place YOUR wishes in life for the benefit of YOUR chosen beneficiaries on your death.
When our garden mowers stop working and are no longer fit for purpose, we will research and invest in the next generation lawnmower to keep our gardens looking sharp and neat for the forthcoming seasons.
Neaten up your estate and affairs. Invest your time now for the next generations of your loved ones. Make sure you draft your Will to cover ALL eventualities.
Our award-winning specialist solicitors can advise you of events that you may not have considered. Let us guide you through the process of reviewing your circumstances and give you that happy, renewed, spring like feeling that comes from being prepared.
To discuss making or updating your Will, please contact the Wills, Trusts and Probate team on 01788 579579.