A recent case before the Central London County Court may have been avoided if the deceased had left an up-to-date will.
Norman Martin died in 2012, aged 69. Mr Martin was still married but had lived with his partner, Joy Williams, for 18 years. Under the provisions of Mr Martin’s will, his half of the property that was owned jointly with Ms Williams passed to his estranged wife. Ms Williams therefore faced the prospect of being forced to sell her home.
At a hearing earlier this month, Judge Nigel Gerald ruled that Ms Williams should receive Mr Martin’s share of the house. Mrs Martin, the losing party, has been ordered to pay the sum of £100,000 into court to meet Ms William’s legal costs, and will in addition have her own legal fees to pay. Mrs Martin looks set to appeal the decision which will cause further uncertainty, stress and expense for the parties.
If Mr Martin had finalised a divorce with a financial order and made a will leaving his share of the property to Ms Williams, this costly and stressful litigation would have been completely avoided.
Rohan Solicitors can advise you as to the most effective ways to provide for your loved ones after your death, including ways to avoid or reduce the risk of challenges to your estate. If you are about to marry, divorce or are living with a partner, you need specialist legal advice and we will be happy to assist.
For more information about the case of Ms Williams and Mrs Martin see:
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