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Keeping the peace

When a client demands a key beneficiary is all but axed from the will, how do you safeguard against the inevitable challenge? Lloyd Junor offers one solution

11 April 2011

One of our team had the experience recently of a client whose instructions for a new will were motivated to severely reduce his adult son’s benefit, with whom he had been estranged for some years. The son substantially benefits under the current will, but the client argued that his son, although poorly off, can provide for himself and does not need provision from him.

At first readers may not consider such instructions raise a difficulty and in a sense of course they do not: the client is free to choose who should benefit from his bounty and one simply advises the client that his estate may suffer a claim by the unhappy son for provision from the estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975 if he proceeds as intended.

My concern, however, is that the pitfall of this route is to leave the estate wide open to a claim which involves the estate in delayed administration and additional (and sometimes substantial) costs.

Furthermore, the ...

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