Keeping Your Will Up to Date

Fred had been in a domestic relationship with Judy for some 20 years.  They shared everything together: their holidays, their Christmas celebrations, their domestic chores.  However, when Judy died, no provision had been made for Fred in Judy’s Will.  Judy had executed a Will 30 years ago before Fred had come onto the scene.  She had no children so she thought it best to leave everything to her nieces and nephews despite the fact that nearly all of them kept very scant contact with Judy.  Judy saw her Will as a low priority and had not got around to making changes.

Is everything lost for Fred?

Thankfully not!  Under the provisions of the Administration and Probate Act 1958, Fred can challenge the Will and make a claim for his proper maintenance and support on the basis that he is entitled as the domestic partner of Judy to her Estate.  Fred will need to prove that he was in a domestic relationship with Judy and that she had a moral responsibility to provide for him in her Will.

If there are lessons to be learned, one is clear: the significance of keeping a Will up-to-date.  That Judy ‘just never got around to it’ are words that should prod us all in ensuring our Wills are just as we want them to be.

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Madelaine Pelser

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