We have just had an interesting discussion here in the office about an article we have read, discussing Simon Cowell and the legacy he will be leaving.
Simon Cowell is leaving £20m of his estate to dog charities including London’s Battersea Dogs Home when he dies. The Britain’s Got Talent Judge, 62, told how he decided to draw up his last wishes after suffering a traumatic bike accident which left him with an injured arm. Simon later went on to revealed that ‘everything he cares about’ will be covered in the will.
The general consensus of course is that Mr Cowell can do what he likes in his Will, as can everyone else. As long as you have capacity to understand your Will – and by that, I mean your wealth, the extent of your family, and who you feel you should protect in your Will – then you can do what you want.
More and more people have been making Wills since the pandemic has hit which can only be a good thing to give families security in the future. We are, however, seeing more and more Wills being challenged in practice.
Few people however know that after death, a Will can be changed by a legal instrument called a Deed of Variation, by the beneficiary who wants to change the way their legacy is dealt with by a Will. So, for example, in the aforementioned illustration, if Simon Cowell’s family wanted the legacy they receive to be less they could increase that £20m being left to the dogs. If you have received a legacy under a Will and feel it would be better directed elsewhere e.g., to your own children, it may be an idea to take some advice on variation and disclaimer deeds.
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