To illustrate this point we can look at two of the most talented and highly regarded legends in the music industry.
Jimi Hendrix Estate
Regarded by many as the greatest guitarist that ever lived who died suddenly of an overdose aged 27 leaving no Will and an estate valued at approximately £50 million.
Having left no wife or children his estate passed to his father Al Hendrix.
After Al`s death a dispute began over the contents of his Will which gave his adopted daughter Jani control of his estate and left Jimi’s brother Leon out of the Will. Leon contested the Will claiming Jani had exerted undue influence on his father and had got him to change his previous Will.
The court however found in favour of Jani citing Leon`s past criminal history and drug abuse.
John Lennon`s Estate
When John Lennon was murdered in 1980 his widow Yoko Ono was appointed as trustee of his estate worth over £220 million.
The main beneficiaries of his Will were Yoko and her son Sean. However, John had another son Julian from his first marriage who had not been adequately provided for.
It appears John had set up a trust fund for Julian at the time of his divorce, when Julian was still a child but had not reviewed the document in years.
Julian therefore challenged the Will and made a claim and after 16 years it was finally settled out of court with Julian receiving a rumoured £20million from the Estate.
So, you can see the sort of problems that can arise from drafting your Will and leaving a family member out or even worse not preparing a Will during your lifetime.
It is important that you review your Will often to incorporate any life changes such as a death of an executor or beneficiary, a birth, a divorce or marriage.
We can help to professionally draft your Will and provide advice so you can minimise the risk of problems for your family in the future.