Only one of the following things is always true:
- I don’t need a Will because the wife will get everything anyway
- I know we are not married, but we have been living together for years and he is “my common law husband”
- I have given my house away so I will not have to pay Inheritance Tax on it
- I ought to give my assets away so that my kids do not have to worry about probate
- It doesn’t matter who witnesses a Will
- The rules about the signing of Wills are fairly flexible
- I will ensure my parents leave me everything by drawing up a Will for them
- If a Will is signed, it doesn’t matter if the person doesn’t really understand what it says
- Anyone can draw up a Will
The only one of the above statements which is completely true is the last one. Anyone can draw up a Will, but the rules surrounding the drafting and signing of Wills are very strict. If a mistake is made, the Will may be completely invalid or, for example, a gift to an individual person may be invalid. For example, we once saw a case where a substantial gift to a lady was invalid because the Will, drawn up by a family friend, had been signed wrongly.
Only 3 in 10 people in the UK have a Will. Disputes about estates, whether a Will was left or not, are now much more common because of the significant increase in property values in recent years.
If you want to be as sure as you can be that your possessions will be left to the people you want to receive them and that a dispute is less likely, you should consult a solicitor. Naturally, we would suggest that the solicitor should be one of our Wills team!
We can see you at any of our offices, or at home. Please contact Gary Ovey or David Edwards on 01208 72328