“Blended families” could play their part in Will disputes

An increase in the number of so-called “blended families” is thought to be fuelling instances of a person’s Will being contested.

The difficulties that can arise were illustrated by a dispute which followed the death of the magician Paul Daniels earlier this year.

The popular entertainer, who passed away in March following a battle with a brain tumour, had left all of his £1.5million estate to his wife and stage assistant Debbie McGee.

This has led to a bitter falling out between Ms McGee and Paul Daniels Junior, the oldest of the magician’s three children from his first marriage.

Nationwide there are a growing number of families where one or both parties have remarried.

It is thought that the more complicated arrangements may be contributing to the increase in the number of disputes arising in relation to people’s inheritance.

Writing an article on the issue for The Independent earlier this month, correspondent Felicity Hannah said: “Even the most nuclear of families can implode following the death of a parent if the Will does not contain what all the offspring expected.

“And when there are children from different relationships and step-children too, there are many more opportunities for strife. This is resulting in increasing numbers of challenges to wills.”

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