Your Will is a vitally important document. It is the only guidance the law has when deciding how your estate will be distributed. Without it, the rules of intestacy will be applied, which can result in those you wanted to inherit not being able to do so, and those you wanted excluded could end up with a share of your estate.
However, difficulties can still arise even if a Will is in place. Lengthy court battles and heated Will disputes are, sadly, a common sight when people fail to protect their assets effectively. Take the case, for example, of Peter Ustinov.
Upon Ustinov’s death in 2004, he was estimated to be worth tens of millions of pounds. In the years since, a lengthy court battle amongst his family members has reduced the estate to almost nothing at all.
His final Will, written in pencil almost four decades before his death, left his estate and loved ones in a similar situation to Benny Hill (discussed in one of our earlier articles); the terms of his Will were no longer truly relevant, leading Swiss authorities to determine that Ustinov died intestate.
This led to Ustinov’s son, Igor, to claim his father had set up trusts, with the goal of transferring much of his estate to his children rather than to his widow Helene.
The case rages on to this day, with Ustinov’s son himself stating he is close to bankruptcy, claiming he is yet to inherit a penny.
Sadly, the same thing could happen to any one of us. Without a Will, it is easy to contest an estate; even with a Will in place, it can still be done, and can be extremely costly for both the party challenging the Will and those defending it- your loved ones.
So, how can you avoid such a financially and emotionally challenging situation?
By far, the best way to protect your assets and ensure you loved ones have the best possible chance of inheriting them one day is to set up a Trust. This should be done sooner rather than later, so that you can secure peace of mind for you and your family that provisions are in place to pass on your inheritance efficiently.
A Trust greatly reduces the ability of others to challenge your estate. Providing you choose reliable Trustees and utilise the services of a trustworthy, nationally recognised specialist provider like Accord Legal Services, your Trust will provide your estate with the protection it needs to safely pass to your beneficiaries one day.
Speak to Accord Legal Services today for more information on setting up a Trust and protecting your assets. We offer a free home consultation under no obligation, so that you can receive all the information you need to make an informed decision regarding your estate planning.