Lack of Will allows estranged wife to inherit everything

By Lenore Rice

An ex-policeman who had lived with his new partner for 15 months had failed to renew his Will before his death, meaning all of his estate passed to his estranged wife according to the rules of intestacy.

Mr Farquarson had not made a new Will prior to committing suicide at his partner Victoria Kendrew's home in March 2008. When someone dies without a Will the rules of intestacy are applied to determine how their estate should be passed on. In this instance, Mr Farquarson's ex-wife stood to receive his home, fishing boat, car and other items, all of which were valued at around £180,000.

A Will was 'discovered' in Mr Farquarson's fishing jacket but it was subsequently proven that it had been forged by Ms Kendrew, who did not want to see her partner's belongings go to his ex-wife. She arranged for two of Mr Farquarson's friends to witness the forged Will, and they later admitted to police that it was signed by them after his death. They told police that they took pity on Ms Kendrew because they believed Mr Farquarson did intend that she would receive all of his estate.

Ms Kendrew was found guilty on the charges of fraud and conspiracy to create a false document and to pervert the course of justice. She and the two men who witnessed the forged Will are to be sentenced at a later date.

It is estimated that 70 per cent of adults in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK do not have a Will, and upon their death their belongings will be passed on according to the rules of intestacy. As in this case, the intestacy rules will not always be in line with what the deceased perhaps intended to do with their belongings.

Making a Will with a will writing solicitor costs the same as a meal out for two and is a fairly quick process. If you need to make or update a Will, contact Wilson Nesbitt today for a free Will information pack by calling 0800 840 9293.

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