Posted On / 01.05.2020

All in the name of drama!

We all enjoy the distraction of watching TV but I doubt I am alone amongst my peers in being a little annoyed when they get the law or procedure wrong all in the name of drama.  Whilst a Wills and Probate practice will never be the star of some slick, sharp suited piece of mid-week escapism the fall out over Wills and more particularly the money that has been left is often a plot device to spark conflict or motive.

I recently watched with interest (and a slightly furrowed brow) when a Will was found that benefitted one child and not both causing tension between the children, which was further increased by the declaration that the parent’s account was frozen until probate so they had to somehow find the money for the funeral!  I must not be completely dismissive, as the resolution reached was a heart-warming one but, it did highlight some important points that you should keep in mind when thinking about your Will/Estate:

  • Yes, your accounts will be frozen on your death but banks and building societies will release funds from an account to pay for your funeral before probate.  There is no need for someone to try and withdraw money or fall out with relatives about who will pay what.              
  • Keep your Will up to date.  Our circumstances change not just financially but also personally so it is always worth getting the copy of your Will out of that desk drawer and check it still reflects your wishes.  If you put it off you may well be creating unintended heartache for your loved ones.         
  • If you are in the situation where a parent’s Will might not reflect matters as you thought they would and you can reach a resolution within your family you can formalise that agreement by entering into a Deed of Variation.

The key thing is if you are not sure, seek legal advice. I must add one caveat; I cannot however promise that we will look like the actors on your TV!

For more information regarding Wills and Trusts please contact Natalie Mason on 01929 500323 or natalie.mason@battens.co.uk We are able to offer telephone and videoconference meetings to take instructions regarding any legal matter.

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