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If there are no living relatives, everything will go to the Treasury, instead of any close friends or a favourite charity as you might have preferred.It needs to be updated whenever a significant event in your life occurs that could affect it.You can apply for a deed of variation but, for this to be approved, all the beneficiaries who are adversely affected must agree to the changes. The key is to prove the person was not in their right mind when they made it, and wouldn’t have done so under normal circumstances.You’ll need medical evidence or testimony from witnesses indicating that the person was too confused to make a will and didn’t understand what they were doing.It’s best to choose someone comfortable dealing with organisations, paperwork and numbers.Make sure you ask them before naming them, and keep track of them if they move.It was a happy day - but little did Stuart realise it would lead to a bitter feud over his inheritance.

If you live with your partner, but are not married or in a legal civil partnership, then they are not automatically entitled to anything when you die.

So Dorothy’s family not only have her money and my father’s money - but also that of my grandparents.’Stuart says he was told by solicitors that Dorothy had changed her will because she’d not heard from him in years. He says he has begged Dorothy’s family to share the inheritance.

But so far they have not done so.‘I hope this will act as a warning to others - you have to be so careful with mirror wills, as they depend on the surviving spouse honouring their wishes.’ Money Mail was unable to contact Dorothy’s family. Today, divorce and second marriage are common, and there are often stepchildren and half-siblings.

This means they could be forced to sell the family home, and your money distributed according to the law rather than your wishes.

In this instance, the law dictates that the estate goes first to the husband or wife, then to any children, grandchildren, parents, brothers or sisters, half-brothers or sisters, grandparents, aunts or uncles and any half-aunts and uncles.

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