We get it, it’s tempting to consult Google or write out your wishes on a signed piece of paper, but by taking the advice of a solicitor when preparing your will you can prevent a dispute arising between your family after your death.
In a recent High Court case, an elderly gentleman unfortunately didn’t take the advice of his solicitor to make a professionally drafted will and consequently an acrimonious High Court dispute arose after his death.
One of the gentleman’s daughters claimed she had located a photocopy of her father’s DIY will (the original of which was never found). The will purported to leave this daughter his home, completely disregarding her siblings (a brother and sister).
Sadly, the Court found that this daughter had forged her father’s will, thinking she would inherit everything. On submitting the will to probate, the siblings argued this will had been totally fabricated.
Further evidence was heard from the father’s solicitor who described him as a lovely but lonely old man, whom he advised on numerous occasions and repeatedly suggested a professionally drafted will but the client had sadly never heeded the advice.
It was said the circumstances in which the will was made were highly suspicious and the language used was not that typically used in such a document, suggesting the daughter had written the will herself.
The Court was satisfied this was a forged document, meaning the gentleman had died intestate (without a valid will) and his estate would be distributed in accordance with the intestacy rules and divided equally among his three children.
We see many cases similar to this where people have not prepared a will, thinking that their estate will automatically go to their children.
It is so important to discuss your plans with a solicitor and to get your wishes recorded into a will as it could save a lot of heartache for your family in the future.
The Inheritance Act sets out what the Courts will take into account when considering a claim, who can make a claim and if reasonable financial provision has been made.
These include the financial resources of the person making the inheritance claim, the deceased’s moral obligations, the size and nature of the estate, and any physical/mental disability suffered by the person making the inheritance claim.
Please give us a call 01724 642 842 if you’d like to have a chat about securing your future.