Wills and Probate
Guidance and Preparation
The need for a will
Everyone with property or assets should make a Will to ensure that on their death their wishes will be carried out. If a person dies without leaving a Will (intestate) there are rules of law which dictate how the deceased’s property is dealt with. This does not always mean that the widow will receive all the estate.
Making provisions for children is also vitally important. In tragic circumstances were a husband and wife die suddenly it is important to have appointment guardians for the children and to have made financial provisions for those children whilst they remain infants.
Where a person has no direct family there is every necessity for a Will. The Legal rules on intestacy divide the estate amongst the nearest next of kin following the family tree. This may mean that a distant relative who is almost a stranger could benefit if there were no closer relatives.
Once signed, your Will is valid and takes effect on your death. BUT: you can make a simple change at any time by making a codicil (like a very short Will) or a major change by having a new Will prepared. Never write on or change your Will after signing it. You can change your Will as often as you need to and you should consider whether you need to make any changes every two to five years and whenever your own or your family’s circumstances change significantly.
In the first instance we would make an appointment with you to discuss your circumstances and take some notes on the Will provisions you are seeking to make. This would include not only the immediate gift e.g. for your spouse and then your children, but also a third alternative in the event of all nearer relatives predeceasing you. A draft would be sent to you with an opportunity for you to read this through and raise any further questions.
Why is legal language needed
People have been leaving property by Will – and arguing over Wills – for hundreds of years. Some words and phrases have come to have widely accepted legal meanings, which can be slightly different from their everyday sense. For example, “personal property” can mean more than just one’s own possessions. So frequently solicitors have to use the accepted legal wording, even though this may seem obscure or unattractive. There is a movement to simplify legal language, however, and more firms are using plain English where possible. Be sure to ask for an explanation if anything is not clear to you, whatever the cause.
A top copy would then be prepared and we would meet with you again to ensure that the formalities of signing a Will are properly followed. Our own staff will act as witnesses.
Our fees in dealing with a Wills are competitive. Please contact us for further details.
Throughout the making of your Will there would be close attention to your particular wishes and we would be happy to liaise with any professional adviser you may retain.Our Will service is usually conducted within our office but home attendance can be arranged if required.
What to do next
If you wish to proceed further please telephone for a mutually convenient appointment on the telephone number on the front cover. If you prefer you may also send a written, e-mailed or faxed request. We if requested, we send a questionnaire to assist you with your instruction.
We also offer a customer care policy and have been very encouraged by the responses we have received.