Making a will alone may not be enough
When making a Will you assume that after your death your wishes will be followed, and in most cases this is right. However, where the will has not been correctly prepared or where the will is not found then your estate may pass to your closest relatives under the rules of intestacy, or under the terms of a previous will.
Home Made Wills:
Many people choose to prepare home-made wills using pre-printed forms which are completed by hand. One common error that can occur is that if a beneficiary acts as a witness then they cannot benefit under the will and so they lose the gift made to them. Mistakes or unclear wording can cause confusion about how the estate passes and this can cause delays and additional costs to put this right. If the will has been prepared incorrectly there is no redress and any costs of putting this right will be paid from the estate itself.
Wills prepared by Solicitors/ Will Writers:
An advantage of having a professionally prepared Will is that it is far less likely that the will is invalid or contains mistakes. The costs of putting right any mistakes will often be covered by the professional, for example, solicitors claim on their insurance in cases where they have not prepared the will correctly.
The Law Society has recently introduced a Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme for solicitors who specialise in advising in this area and in future this may be something for people to consider when choosing a solicitor.
It is not uncommon for a will to be prepared which cannot be found after a person%u2019s death. If the person preparing the Will does not inform those close to them about the fact that they have prepared the will and where it can be found this can cause delays. Ultimately the will may not be located or know about and the estate could be distributed to the wrong people. Certainty is a national will register which is recommended by the Law Society. Wills can be registered with them so that after a person%u2019s death the will can be located via the register.
The staff at Jennifer Melly Law would be happy to advise you on any of the above issues.