Published 19th December 2019 | Client Stories

David’s family learnt the importance of professionally preparing a Will

Background

David Chamberlain, a 67-year-old father, had written a Will so that his estate would not be passed onto his estranged daughter, who he hadn’t seen for 20 years and had stolen from him in the past. Instead, his wishes were to pass on his home and assets to his partner, to whom he was not married, his partner’s son and to a local charity where he had volunteered for many years.

When David died suddenly, the family found the Will in his bedroom and had discovered it was a homemade Will, which he had signed, but was not witnessed.

What the law says

According to the law, because David’s Will was never witnessed, it becomes an invalid document and intestacy rules apply. This means the whole of his estate passes to his daughter.

The outcome

David’s family came to see us for advice and we explained the legal situation carefully. We then wrote to David’s daughter, on their behalf, to see if she would agree for the parties named in the Will to receive some benefit.

The daughter agreed to the family receiving some benefit and the family could keep the home. The legal costs for rectifying this situation were far greater than the cost of having such a Will professionally drafted.

Summary

All too often incorrectly drawn up Wills are found to be invalid. This can lead to the estate being treated as if you had died intestate, i.e. without a Will. Under the laws of intestacy your assets are distributed according to a statutory set of rules. This meant that David’s daughter was legally solely entitled to his estate.

Making a Will is a decision which Will have major implications on your family when you are gone. We can help you with this process. Our solicitors are professionally trained and tightly regulated to prepare Wills that stand up to scrutiny. We also provide advice on other related subjects, including inheritance tax.

For details of our fixed-fee Wills, Powers of Attorney and related Probate services, call our Leighton Buzzard Probate solicitors on 01525 378177 or contact us online. We act for clients throughout the Home Counties.

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