Friday, 21 July 2017

Leaving Property In A Will? This is What You Need To Know

If you’ve ever been tempted to get a DIY will and save a few pounds in the process, it may come back to hurt you later. Professionally drafted wills in Llandudno North Wales have never been easier to get and have never been cheaper.

Most charities such as the British Heart Foundation and Age Concern UK have teamed up with numerous solicitors in North Wales to offer wills which are obtainable at a discounted rate. These schemes are intended to ensure that in the vital matter of what happens when you are gone, disadvantaged people have the same right to draft a will as others.

Dispensing with legal advice in the matter of wills should not be advised under any situation, and a recent High Court case has proved that while DIY Wills do really look quite tempting, there are some legal effects created by wills as legal documents that laymen simply cannot anticipate and cannot protect against.

In the matter of wills, the failure to adhere to certain guidelines can be absolutely devastating. What you leave behind can directly influence the fortunes of those who you love, and no risk can be taken with this. A very recent example of DIY Wills not being able to hold up in court is the story of a woman leaving her estate (worth £437,508) equally to her three sons who were alive when she died.

The woman had five sons total, but two of them died before she did, which left the inheriting three.

An issue arose in her DIY Will when the daughter of one of her sons (which passed away before she did) claiming that she was entitled to inherit her father’s share of the estate. The brothers which were still alive argued that the gift left by their mother would have lapsed upon her son’s death – that you cannot leave someone money or consider them if they are already dead.

It fell to the High Court to decide that while a straightforward interpretation of the will in question supported the surviving son’s arguments, the Wills Act 1837 (section 33) states that inheritance passed to descendants who have passed away automatically goes to their children, should they exist.

The High Courts decided that because there was no mention of the woman which wrote the will wanting the Wills Act to be ignored – that it would apply, and the surviving daughter which was never even named in the DIY Will received her dead father’s share of the will – almost £50,000, and a half share of the mother’s estate - much to the chagrin of the surviving sons.  

Money should not be a barrier to obtaining a will and having a say in what will happen with your assets after you’re gone – and numerous solicitors and charities within North Wales and beyond agree that people should not feel that they have to get a document which does not cover them for the sake of having something, rather than nothing.  

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