Silver separators wills negligence leading to family strife
There is a growing trend in people divorcing later in life with so-called “silver separators” having increased by 85 per cent since the year 2000.
With us living longer this trend is inevitable and whilst once it was rare to hear of couples who have been together for 30 or so years starting life anew it is something we have to get used to.
However, once we finally leave this mortal coil it is causing a fair few problems for those left behind.
Widely reported figures in legal circles estimate one in four over-50s have not updated their will for more than five years, and one in 10 has left it untouched for a decade or more, whilst 70 per cent do not have a will at all.
It is concerning to hear that so many over-50s are currently without a valid, up-to-date will and the effects this will have on society.
For those of us who have lost a loved one dealing with the grief and trying to readjust to the change in life is quite enough without family rows draining our energy.
It makes me recall the case of the late great actor Sir Peter Ustinov, who was married three times.
He died without a valid will and all those related to him ended up frittering away his millions on the legal fight.
It is over 10 years since his death and last reports in the media, a couple of years ago, said his son was close to bankruptcy.
Many less publicised battles are happening throughout the land for the same reasons.
However, divorce and remarriage are not the only reasons a person may need to rewrite their will in later life. Buying or selling a property, receiving an inheritance or having new grandchildren may also need to be reflected.
Wills are a morbid subject we know, and at the bleakest time of year this probably is one of our less jolly legal columns, but Wills are one of the most important documents that a person can make.
Family fallouts over assets can so easily be avoided, but it needs action.
So if your circumstances have changed make sure you reflect this in your Will. It’s not too late for New Year’s resolutions so put this one on your list