As has recently been reported in the Press, the Will of the late singer, Aretha Franklin, raised some issues as to how her estate should ultimately be distributed to her chosen beneficiaries.

The famous singer passed away in 2018 but it is only more recently that a Court in the USA ruled on whether a handwritten testamentary document prepared by her in 2014 should override a previous Will that was discovered around the same time.  It was held by the Court that the more recent document did, indeed, override the terms of the previous Will.  In England, the law is of course different to that in the USA but similar issues can arise.

This type of dispute, where beneficiaries of an earlier Will have been changed, can cause rifts in families, and can incur expensive legal costs for all parties involved, not to mention the distress to the family members involved in the dispute.

Our Wills, Trusts and Probate Team can assist you in trying to overcome these issues by guiding you through the Will making process and supporting you as, sometimes, considering who should benefit under your Will is not always a straightforward decision to make.  We can do the following on your behalf:-

  • Your Will will be prepared by a qualified lawyer taking into account your assets, your family situation and all related issues. We will advise you on how to structure your Will to be as effective as possible when you pass away.
  • If you require any amendments to your Will in the future, and if you do not wish to have a completely new Will prepared, a document called a Codicil can be drafted to make amendments to your earlier Will. We will ensure that your Codicil is drafted in such a way that means that the amendments you wish to make are correctly incorporated, resulting in your wishes being carried out.
  • Your Will and/or Codicil is registered with Certainty (the National Wills Register) as part of our fee to ensure that all of your testamentary documents are correctly recorded.
  • We store your testamentary documents, for no fee, ensuring that these are not misplaced or overlooked in the future.

Please do not hesitate to contact our experienced Wills, Trusts and Probate Team for assistance in relation to your Will, Lasting Powers of Attorney and other estate planning matters.