Bitter family fall outs over wills have increased by a staggering amount in recent years, more than doubling in the past eight years alone and this sad trend shows no sign of abating.
These expensive and destructive battles over deceased estates is something the legal profession is witnessing more of and whilst each case is different there is little doubt that many of them could be avoided, we at Bowsers believe.
Unquestionably, more complex family set ups are a major factor in this as society has seen so much change in the past few decades.
In many families, one or both partners may well have been married before.
Perhaps they may not be married to their current partner, but have children together, as well as children from previous relationships and there are other complex issues to add to this mix.
This has created a difficult issue, which means wills have to be up to date.
Often this isn’t the case as making a will seldom seems a matter of great urgency and many know they should get round to it but bury their heads in the sand.
Each year many people die without a will, known in legal circles as dying intestate, and where that happens there are rules enshrined in law dating back to 1925, when family structures were more simple, which set out who is entitled to your estate.
This does not account whatsoever for non-matrimonial relationships, so unmarried couples will get nothing from a partner’s estate unless a will has been made.
What society needs are people to help their loved ones whilst they are grieving.
They require as much help as possible when they are still coming to terms with their loss and a family feud ripping life long bonds is never needed.
It is also worth realising that the public have very little protection if a poorly drafted will is drawn up.
Of course there are cheap wills online, often offered by non-regulated providers who may not have insurance or may no longer be in business by the time a problem with a will comes to light, making a cheap will a hugely costly mistake.
For peace of mind it is far safer to use established law firms and additionally you will be safeguarded by professional indemnity insurance.
There is really no good excuse for not doing it.
It is better to have the courage to face up to your mortality to ensure you leave your loved ones equipped to make your passing as easy as possible.