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Case Studies

Accidental Disinheritance

What is Accidental Disinheritance?

Diane and Becky’s Story

Diane was happily married to Steve, and they had a young daughter, Becky. They were both in their early 30’s and each had a professional Will that left everything to each other, and on second death, left everything to Becky.

Steve sadly dies in an accident at work, leaving Diane and Becky to carry on without him. Diane was young enough to consider a new relationship, and one day she met Peter and his son, Chris.

Peter and Chris lived in rented accommodation and soon moved in with Diane and Becky after a few months together. They got married and everything was fine until Diane was diagnosed with cancer and died soon after.

Diane did not realise that once she got married her old Will became invalid, so she never thought about making a new Will. As such, Diane died without a valid Will and her estate was distributed in accordance with intestacy rules which resulted in Peter inheriting the first £250,000 of her estate, which meant he now inherited Diane and Becky’s house.

Peter continued to live in the family home until he died many years later and because Peter never made a Will, everything went to his son, Chris, and Becky, as Peter’s step-child, received nothing. So not only did Becky lose her Mum and Dad when she was young, she also lost her inheritance, and it went to her step-brother Peter instead.

This is what is known as “accidental disinheritance!”

How can Accidental Disinheritance be avoided?

All this could have been prevented if Diane and Peter had spoken to an About My Will Adviser soon after they were married.

It is important that you ensure you have an up to date Will, and remember, if you re-marry your old Will becomes invalid.

Talk to one of our Will Writing Advisers today to learn more about the benefits of creating a Will.

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