Silver Divorces behind the Growth in Will Disputes
A rise in the numbers of people divorcing in later life has led to a huge increase in contested Wills. Here in London and the South East, which has some of the most expensive properties in the country, such battles are sadly commonplace.
It’s all very sobering to see such difficulties as people fight tooth and nail for life-changing sums of money, and whilst these disputes are never going to be completely eradicated a lot can be done to avoid them. Such fall outs often occur after the divorce of a couple in the middle of their life who have assumed for years that they will leave everything they have to their children when they pass away.
Nowadays, many older divorcees goes on to re-marry, and fail to change their Will, which then becomes out of date leading to acrimony between their new family and the children from their earlier marriage.
It’s not uncommon with, according to the most recent data; nearly one in ten people over 65 being a divorcee. If a Will is out of date, the legal rule of intestacy comes into effect – which states that the first £250,000 of the value of an estate must go to the widow or the widower.
This means the impact on children who had expected to inherit can be severe. Sadly, such is the nature of modern life that a less than straightforward marital history can often lead to battles in the courts. Such disputes are very difficult for loved ones when also dealing with the death of a close family member.
Such toxic fall-outs are only ever avoided by having an experienced law firm reviewing and updating Wills, particularly when circumstances change. Divorce rates amongst older people and the proportion of older people in casual cohabiting relationships has also almost doubled in the past decade.
Keeping up to date Wills are vital, so if this hasn’t happened and you are in such a difficult situation with a deceased family member it is best to speak to a legal expert to find dispute resolution options in order to reduce the stress and costs involved.
Please contact our divorce lawyers if you wish to know more about how we can help in such matters.