A recent article in The Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/10106145/Rise-in-wills-disputes-over-illegitimate-children.html) highlights the rise in will disputes over illegitimate children and second families.
Wills that aim to make gifts to “all my children” become problematic where illegitimate children are perhaps unknown to the executors and so in order to inherit, the “secret” children need to prove parentage. With increasing numbers of second families, issues can arise where a testator leaves the family home to his second wife for her lifetime, but to pass thereafter to the children of the first marriage, and that wife does not have enough cash to run and upkeep the house. A lot of these problems can be solved by proper will drafting from the outset, in the first case, by actually naming all the relevant children and in the second case by providing a fund for the 2nd wife to live on. However, inevitably in these straitened economic times such disputes become more common and feelings always run extremely high in the case of family and money!! Obtaining probate in the light of a disputed will is not easy and so it is best to use experienced solicitors from the outset if an executor suspects that the will may become subject to attack.