Will Disputes Between Families
This case of Lothian v Dixon and Webb  shows the issues that can arise in case a loved one dies without an up-to-date will.
A cousin of sisters Mrs Lothian and Mrs Webb in 1983 made a will to leave her estate equally to both sisters.
With the passing years, the cousin lost contact with Mrs Webb, but she remained close with Mrs Lothian. In 2010 as the cousin got terminally ill, she asked Mrs Lothian for coming and living with her for helping with daily tasks and running of the seaside hotel owned by her. In return, she decided to leave Mrs Lothian with her entire estate. It was all worth over £1 million in company shares and other assets.
The offer was accepted by Mrs Lothian, even though it involved considerable upheaval. She left her home in Scotland, where her husband managed his business. She nursed her cousin as she got ill and also undertook general duties for the hotel. Also, her husband visited at weekends performing general duties as per the requirement.
Two years later, the cousin died. Even after giving instructions to the solicitor for a new will that reflected their arrangement, she died without executing the will.
It was accepted by Mrs Webb that Mrs Lothian kept her promise to the cousin, but she argued about her sister getting benefit from the situation as she got free boarding and lodging while for family holidays, she also used the hotel. She argued counterbalancing of the Lothians’ detriment because of this, and therefore their entitlement should be around £40,000 plus travel expenses.
The judge did not agree for this as he found that Mr and Mrs Lothian significantly changed their lifestyle for helping the cousin with substantial detriment to their won life. This compelled them to live apart for two years. Also, by the death of a cousin, Mrs Lothian got into a number of health issues, including a hip replacement that she even postponed for assisting her cousin.
The judge said that the boarding and lodging received was not any kind of meaningful compensation or countervailing benefit for the provided commitment at the outset and they both adhered to it. The judge decides that the only appropriate award was to grant Mrs Lothian the whole net residuary estate after any legacies payable under the earlier will is satisfied.
The case demonstrated how in appropriate circumstances, the courts uphold a promise made by a testator of a will which is contradictory to the actual will.
A Family Mediation service can help families there to deal with the issue during a divorce. They can reach an agreement avoiding court by going for a Family Mediation service .
A test for couples with children can come to be a very demanding time in a household’s life if they are not aware of the signs and symptoms of Will Disputes between households. In some cases, these disputes can also come to be physical and also create injury to one or both celebrations.
In many cases, a Will Dispute will not be obvious to the adult involved in the Will, but it may seem obvious to the adult children. In other cases, the adult children may feel the need to intervene to protect the rights of their children.
Any Will, even one made twenty years ago, that is made by one person against another family members is still valid and enforceable by those who are heirs. The will must be filed with the courts at the time of death. It must be completed in ink and signed by all parties.
If a Will Dispute does occur, a simple solution could be to offer an amendment to the original Will. Sometimes the Will can be amended by adding a child, spouse, or another relative.
Sometimes it is worth it to bring a lawyer to help a couple or family members to deal with these situations. There are a number of reasons for this. For one, it is often financially difficult for the adult person to hire legal counsel, especially when a Will Dispute does occur.
Having a lawyer who specializes in these cases can also help them plan out how to handle the situation. They can help to negotiate a fair Will and make sure that the family member receiving the estate does not receive an unfair share. When considering hiring a lawyer for Will Disputes, be sure to choose a lawyer that has experience in these cases.
Although it is a good idea to have lawyers on hand during Will Disputes, a couple should be careful not to pay for their legal fees. These lawyers are not cheap, and if the Will Dispute occurs and it turns out the other party is not a valid heir, the money can be extremely helpful. There are some cases that can be very complicated and may need attorneys to be able to reach a decision in a timely manner.
It can’t hurt to have lawyers on hand to help out if they are needed during a Will Dispute. Also, when filing a Will, the parties to the Will should try to keep any legal action to a minimum. Although a Will Dispute may turn out in favour of the opposing party, it is important to keep the legal issues as low-key as possible.
The parties to a Will should only discuss anything with the attorneys that are needed. At least in this way, there is less chance of having a court order created as a result of the Will Disputes. These people can handle these issues on their own without having to worry about any court action.
Anyone who is successor to a Will should make certain to investigate any choices concerning their personal properties as well as revenue. Any type of property that is intended to be gotten when the departed dies should be tape-recorded with the courts. This will assist a family to be able to inherit a fair share of that money.
Family members who think their rights may have been violated may wish to talk to a lawyer. There are some situations where a Will Dispute can happen in which there is no fault on the part of the person or parties involved. This can be a good option for some people.
A Will Dispute may turn out to be beneficial for the receiving family if the choice to file a Will is not done in haste. It is also possible that it may end up being detrimental to the overall goal of getting a fair will. Only a lawyer will be able to tell the difference between these situations.