Chester 01244 405555

Grosvenor Court
Foregate Street Chester
Cheshire CH1 1HG
DX: 19990 Chester

Shrewsbury 01743 443 043

Lakeside House
Oxon Business Park
Shrewsbury SY3 5HJ
DX: 148563 Shrewsbury 14

Airport City, Manchester 0844 800 8346

Office 129
Manchester Business Park
3000 Aviator Way
Manchester M22 5TG

Send us a message
Our Offices

Attention to detail is key when preparing your Will

20th April, 2015

An estate dispute involving the widow and children of the late actor Robin Williams has finally spilled out into the public domain as the deadline set by the Court for the parties to reach an amicable agreement draws near.

Susan Williams, Robin Williams’ wife of three years, filed legal documents last December in which she claimed that his children Zak, Zelda and Cody had removed items from the shared property without her permission. The children in return have claimed that Mrs Williams is attempting to keep property that was meant for them.

The problem lies in the wording of Mr Williams’ Will which states that all ‘jewellery and memorabilia’ are to go to his children, which Susan is claiming excludes his watch collection and Oscar for Good Will Hunting.

The case illustrates the importance of attention to detail when preparing wills and considering the family structure and the issues that are most likely to lead to a dispute. Whilst it can be tempting to focus on the assets with the highest monetary value, it is often items with sentimental value that can cause family rifts if wishes are not clearly stated.

The problem could have been easily avoided by being more specific about which items were to go to whom or by nominating independent trustees to make the final decision as to how the personal belongings were to be divided. Unfortunately as neither of these options were adopted it appears likely that the Court will now have to act as arbiter which could be costly for all parties involved both financially and in terms of the public exposure that such a high profile case inevitably draws.

For further information or advice regarding estate planning or estate dispute resolution please contact James Wallace on 01244 405588 or email [email protected].

 

You might also be interested in...

Ethics Guidance – Transparency in Price and Service

16th November, 2018

It is reported that a quarter of all complaints dealt with by the Legal Ombudsman revolve around costs. Therefore to avoid complaints and confusion, it is important to be clear from the outset. The new Transparency Rules (which the SRA have now confirmed will come into effect on 6 December 2018) require that accurate and relevant information is... Read More »

Aaron & Partners Increases Recommendations in Leading Industry Guide, The Legal 500

5th November, 2018

Aaron & Partners LLP has once again seen improved rankings in The Legal 500 – a comprehensive guide... Read More »

Mental Health and Stress in the Workplace – 3/3

10th October, 2018

In the lead up to World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2018, we have been posting a series of short articles discussing mental health and stress in the workplace. In this final article, we will be providing tips, to employers and employees, for managing stress and dealing with mental ill health in the workplace. Click here to... Read More »

Contact Us