Simply updating his Will would have ensured that a former dentist’s share of the family home passed to his unmarried partner of 18 years, rather than to his estranged wife, avoiding the legal battle which has raged in court last week (w/c 8 February 2016), according to a North East solicitor who specialises in Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning.
Andrew Simpson, a Lead Panel Solicitor with Seaham-based legal and financial planning specialist Ensure Inheritance, says that although Joy Williams, 69, lived with retired dentist Norman Martin as his partner for nearly two decades, they never married, nor did Mr Martin change his Will. As Mr Martin and Ms Williams owned a three-bedroom home as tenants in common, on his death Mr Martin’s share of the house was not automatically transferred to his partner, but to his estranged wife.
Ms Williams launched a legal challenge against the terms of the Will this week (w/c 8 February 2016).
“Unfortunately Mr Martin was in the same boat as around 12 million of us who have Wills, but who have not been updated them for more than five years to reflect their changed family circumstances,” says Mr Simpson.
“Simply taking advice from a Solicitor and changing his Will would have ensured that his partner’s financial future was secured and Ms Williams would not risk losing her home.
“If you want to ensure your loved ones benefit from your hard earned efforts after your death, not only to you need to make a Will so that your wishes are carried out, you need to keep it updated to reflect any changes in circumstances.
“The costly and lengthy legal case of Ms Williams, and the possibility of her losing her family home, should be a reminder to us all to review our Wills every five years,” concludes Mr Simpson.
Based in Seaham in County Durham, Ensure Inheritance provides a range of legal and financial planning services which help protect financial assets to provide their clients and their loved ones with peace of mind. In addition to Wills and Estate planning, services include: long term care planning, funeral planning, inheritance tax planning, powers of attorney, court of protection deputyships, and probate.
Ensure Inheritance can be contacted on tel. 0191 338 5143, via email at email@example.com or via its website www.ensureinheritance.co.uk