The effects of inflation have meant that far more of us are leaving a substantial estate. Many people have amassed a considerable amount by way of assets in one form or another by the time they die which means it is even more important than ever to make sure that a proper will is left behind before the time comes. There is a temptation to rely on a homemade will which may seem inexpensive at the time however many contested will solicitors make a substantial living sorting out the effects of badly drafted or ineffective wills. In the long run it is a lot cheaper to have it done properly and professionally by a specialist wills and probate solicitor at the start.
Many people do not make a will at all which can lead to problems after they die. In these cases a Grant of Administration is obtained from the court and once this is issued it gives authority to the person named to distribute the assets in accordance with the intestacy rules which give a specific pattern which must be followed to decide who is entitled to what.
No one likes to think about making a will, but in truth if you don’t do it your possessions and assets may end up being passed on in a way that does not have your approval. You may have promised a close family member or a friend everything you own, since that person was close to you for years, but if you don’t create a will that stipulates this very clearly, they may not get a penny.
When it comes to making a homemade will there are several ways you can do it. By far the cheapest (although not necessarily the best) is to buy a DIY pack which contains forms and guidance. It is however very easy to make crucial mistakes and you may end up writing a homemade will which isn’t legally correct and in due course is of no consequence requiring your beneficiaries to employ the services of a contested will solicitor to sort out the mess.
There are plenty of mistakes that are made in a homemade will by people who haven’t got the proper knowledge to write a will on their own, including failing to sign and witness the finished document properly, forgetting to include some of their assets, omitting a beneficiary who is a dependent and not amending it in the proper way when changes are needed.
If you wish to make a new will at any point it is very important that you destroy the old one and all copies of it. If you don’t and your subsequent will is lost it could result in the old one being produced by someone else and your final wishes not being granted.
You also need to think carefully about selecting an executor to take care of your final wishes and distribute your assets in the right manner. Lay executors generally ask a solicitor to help them with their duties, but it is still important to choose someone responsible to take on the task.
Most qualified contested will solicitors talk plain English with no legal jargon and deal with disputed probate in cases where the validity of a document is questioned, a will is lost or where someone not included as a beneficiary makes a claim. If you would like free initial legal advice just call a solicitor who will discuss your case with you and will usually give you free, no obligation initial advice.