“I want to leave everything equally between my children”. This sounds very straightforward and reasonable, so if you instruct Jordans Solicitors to prepare a Will for you in these terms, why would we ask you more questions to understand your family and financial position?
Whilst in England and Wales you have the freedom to leave your estate to whoever you want, there are various claims which can be made against your estate.
The England and Wales High Court has recently decided that a daughter of a farmer had an entitlement to a share of his farm, but as this was not given to her through the Will, has made a substantial award to her from the estate. (Habberfield v Habberfield, 2018 EWHC 317 Ch).
In this case, the entitlement was in the basis of “proprietary estoppel”, being that the daughter had worked on the farm on the basis that her father had assured her that she would take over the farm when he retired. If that claim had not been successful, she would also have argued for reasonable provision from the estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975.
In our example above, should you also be considering leaving some provision for your partner? Do any of your children have particular needs whereby you might wish to consider leaving more to one of them than the others? Have you made any promises to any of them which can be enforced after your death and in relation to which you should include provision in your Will?
It is therefore important that we understand your circumstances sufficiently to enable us to advise you about the possibility about any such possible claims and to allow you to make a fully informed decision. You may then still want us to make your Will leaving your estate equally between your children!
We are on hand to help with any queries you may have in regards to Wills and Probate issues. Our wills and probate solicitors are based in Wakefield, Dewsbury, and Horsforth. Feel free to call us on 0330 300 1103 or request a call back by clicking here.