Expert Comments On Ensuring Your Wishes Are Met
Recent reports that Whitney Houston has left her entire estate to her daughter have brought several issues into the spotlight which those writing a Will should bear in mind, estate dispute experts at Irwin Mitchell have advised.
According to reports from Inside Edition and Forbes in the US, the terms of the late singer’s Will outline that all of her personal effects should be left to her surviving children, meaning her daughter Bobbi Kristina would be the sole heir.
Her mother Cissy Houston is believed to have been named executor, but a probate court has apparently approved that Pat Houston, the singer’s sister-in-law, should act on her behalf. Ex-husband Bobby Brown has been left nothing.
Irwin Mitchell’s Will, Trust and Estate Disputes team, act for a number of people who have launched claims in relation to the estate of their loved ones, said the release of the information highlighted several issues that those in England and Wales should consider when preparing for the future.
Chris Walton, a solicitor who specialises in helping people to contest a Will, said: “The late singer’s story highlights some issues which those who have a Will should think about, such as ensuring that you update it in the event that you split from a partner to guarantee the terms meet your wishes.
“In addition, couples in England and Wales who divorce should remember that a Will is not automatically revoked by divorce, as it is by marriage, although a gift to a former spouse named in a will made prior to the divorce would fail.
“It is also interesting to note that matters do not end there. Provided that they are not barred from doing so under the terms of the Divorce decree, a former spouse can contest a Will as they are within the categories of eligible claimants under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. Claims by ex spouses are usually on the basis that they are dependent on the deceased at the time of death.”
If you are involved in a will dispute or need further information about contesting a will, please visit our Will, Trust & Estate Disputes section