It has been widely reported in the press this week that British rock star Rick Parfitt, changed his will 5 days before he died on Christmas Eve to the exclusion of his current (third) wife with whom Rick had two young children. Rick also had two children with his first wife (one of whom predeceased him) and one child with his second wife. The Daily Mail reports that Rick’s estate is to be divided equally between his two adult children and his two minor children.
The Times on 31/12/16 looked at the growing number of inheritance disputes that are hitting the courts and quoted Kingsley Napley lawyers Jim Sawer and Kate Salter. Not only did 2016 see a spate of high profile family disputes but the Supreme Court also heard a will challenge case for the first time bought by Heather Ilott.
A dispute over the will of the man who once produced the Beatles throws light on some of the issues that arise and may suggest how room for argument can be kept as narrow as possible though intelligent preparation.
If a Will appears rational then there is a presumption that the individual making the will (the testator) had mental capacity and the Will will be admitted to probate unless anyone can produce sufficient evidence to the contrary.