Research shows that 1 in 2 adults do not have a will and most people do not consider it necessary until they are in their fifties. This is surprising when most of these people have already built up significant assets and have children and other loved ones that they would wish to provide for in the event of their death. It is also the case that many people ask will writing firms who are not regulated or insured to deal with their wills and assets. The article below highlights the problems that can and have recently occurred for local people using such services. Solicitors are subject to extremely stringent rules and regulations and must be fully insured, measures set out to fully protect members of the public. Our sympathies extend to anyone affected by the sit
uation outlined on Worthing Herald where a will writing firm leaves behind a 150k debt.
If you need assistance and advice having been subject to the above please do not hesitate to contact us in complete confidence. Michael Coleman of Brighton & Hove Law will be able to put things right for you.
Nobody likes to think about their own mortality but as is frequently said “the two certainties in life are death and taxes”. For any individual regardless of age, the advantages of making a will with a reputable solicitor are :
- You can leave clear instructions about how your estate is to be distributed. If you do not have a will the intestacy rules apply and may not go to the people you would have chosen.
- A will lets you choose your own executors. Without a will on your death your closest relatives will need to apply for ‘letters of administration’. You may wish for family members to be appointed as executors or may wish for a solicitor to deal with this on behalf of your family.
- You can appoint guardians to look after your children if they are under 18 and make financial arrangements for such dependants.
- You can make bequests, donations and gifts to individuals or charities of your choice.
- If you have remarried, a will can ensure any children from your first marriage or any previous relationships are provided for.
If you have not made a will you can leave partners extremely vulnerable
- Unmarried partners may not receive anything from your estate, unless you have made a will in their favour and if you are married but your estate is divided according to the intestacy rules, your spouse or civil partner may not receive as much as you would have intended and wanted them to.
- If you die without leaving a will and have no spouse or children, your parents or siblings may inherit your estate, even if you’d prefer it to go elsewhere.
- The absence of a will can cause difficulties for loved ones and can sometimes lead to family disputes.
- Your family could face a larger inheritance tax bill than necessary as a properly drafted will and succession planning can help reduce tax liabilities.