A New Year’s resolution
The New Year prompts many of us to resolve to make a positive change to our lives by doing something new or different moving forward. This often tends to be a lifestyle change – eating better or exercising more. Rarely does it prompt us to address overdue administrative or financial matters.
I regularly advise clients regarding will and estate disputes and January often sees a rise in the number of people contacting me for advice. Disputes arise for all manner of reasons but often centre around the provision (or lack of provision) made for family members/dependants by the deceased’s will or the rules of intestacy (if they die without leaving a valid will).
It is estimated that more than fifty percent of adults in the UK die without a will and many more die with a will that they haven’t updated for many years or following a change of circumstances. In so many cases that I advise on, an up-to-date will, tailored to an individual’s particular circumstances, could have prevented disputes arising in relation to their estate following their death.
It is something that so many of us put off until tomorrow but perhaps this January we should consider moving ‘make/update will‘ to the top of our ‘to do‘ list. Making a New Year’s resolution to do so now may just remove the need for resolution of a future dispute when it is too late for us to do anything to help.
Katie Emerson is a solicitor in the private client department at Barker Gotelee, Ipswich solicitors.