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Supreme Court Reaffirms Importance of Testamentary Freedom

Last year, that Mrs Ilott, an estranged daughter ‘written out’ of her mother’s Will, was awarded £164,000 from her mother’s estate made headlines. The English case concerned the Will of Mrs Jackson who died in 2004. As noted in a previous blog (available to read here), Mrs Jackson had left a majority of her estate to charities, expressly instructing her executors to defend any challenge to her Will brought by her daughter, explaining in a letter that: ‘I have made it clear to my daughter during her lifetime that she can expect no inheritance from me when I die’.

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The Importance of Writing a Will

It is widely recognised that writing a will is an effective way of ensuring that your assets are distributed in accordance with your wishes after you die.

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The Changing Nature of Estate Planning

Many people have a very pre-set idea of what it means to plan for a time when they pass away, or ‘estate planning’ to use traditional legal terminology. They will know that this will involve bringing together an index of their property that they own and setting down in their will what is to happen to this when they pass away. For most people, this fairly simple idea of estate planning is as involved as they will need to get, and as complex as their will needs to be. However, for some people, they will have more to consider and this will need to be included in the terms of their will. The issue is that the idea of a ‘modern family’ has changed significantly over the past many years. As a result, estate planning has developed to keep pace with this.

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Choosing your Executor: who is top of the list?

Being an executor of someone's estate is no easy task and can often lead to difficulties among surviving family members. It was recently reported (available here) that the wife of famous Indian actor, Bobby Deoul, Tania, is seeking the removal of the executor of her late father’s will, Ravi Kiran Aggarwal, from his position. This dispute is still ongoing but has centred around allegations from both parties regarding how the estate is to be utilised. This kind of argument is all too common in estate matters, and is a reminder as to how important it is to appoint an executor that is capable of doing their job well and appreciates the important position that they hold.

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Many People Are Still Without a Will

As many as 59% of adults in the UK have not yet made a will, according to new research by Prudential and Unbiased.co.uk.

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