Marriage After Death

He told the newspaper that his widowed father, William Herd, remarried to a woman called Dorothy. They later drew up new Wills.

As is common, the couple only had basic Mirror Wills agreeing that their assets would be transferred to the surviving spouse when one partner passed away, he stated.

Before his death in 1997, William and Dorothy also agreed that the estate would be equally split between Stuart and Dorothy’s son, when the surviving partner died.

However, Stuart now claims that this did not happen. Instead, he said that Dorothy subsequently changed her Will. Consequently, when she passed away three years ago, everything was left to her son and Stuart received nothing.

The solicitors representing Dorothy said she decided to make the change because she and Stuart had not been in contact for a number of years.

But Stuart said he never exchanged any “cross words” with Dorothy, so he was left in “complete shock” when he discovered what she had done. This is far more common than people realise and is sometime referred to as ‘marriage after death’ or a ‘sideways disinheritance’.

It’s also another example demonstrating that basic Wills just don’t cut it.

With the right Will in conjunction with a life interest trust the situation could have been avoided allowing Mr Herd to protect his assets for his son while still benefiting Dorothy.

It always pays to take expert advice from someone specialising in this area.

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