Legal News | 24.07.18
Blood runs thicker than water
Families can be complicated and the rise in “blended families” introduces a modern strain to the existing hurdles of life. The term “blended families” roughly translated means families consisting of a couple and their separate children from prior relationships. Whilst very common in today’s society, what happens when the bank of mum and dad becomes the bank of step-mum and dad? What happens when step-mum isn’t as keen to provide towards her step-daughter’s university fees? What happens when step-dad does not want his estate to be shared between his wife’s family?
The law is becoming increasingly full of examples of warring blended families such as the case of the Powell brothers last year. Richard and Jonathan Powell attempted to prevent their stepmother getting an extra £25,000 in their father’s Will. They claimed their disabled father was unfit to make the final Will, which left £125,000 to his second wife. They argued that an earlier Will should stand, which would have seen their stepmother receive £100,000. The feud cost them their entire inheritance of £62,500 each as the brothers, branded “greedy” by the Judge, were ordered to pay £200,000 in legal fees.
A common misconception is that the Wills of married couples are binding on one another however, this is not correct. The survivor of the two is entitled to change their Will following the death of their spouse, leaving loved ones potentially unaccounted for.
The best way to guard against a family feud over inheritance is to make sure that you have an up-to-date and properly drafted Will that has been carefully thought through.
For more advice on valid Wills or if you would like to make or review an existing Will, speak to your usual contact at Wansbroughs on 01380 733300 or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.