While there are movies showing people scribbling a will out on a notepad or napkin in the last moments of their life, setting affairs in order before they depart, the truth is that these types of wills don’t hold up in court. Nor do many do-it-yourself wills typed up or handwritten at various points in our lives. And there are many cases where you’re setting your heirs up for problems if you don’t work with a solicitor to create a legally valid will.
Here are 3 reasons why working with a solicitor is essential for probate:
1. You Want Your Wishes Carried Out
If you don’t have a good, valid will, your final wishes may not be carried out. Saying you’d like to leave a large bequest to charity doesn’t matter if it isn’t part of your will. If you want to have money set aside specifically for health and education needs of your grandchildren instead of given to their parents in the vain hope they use it right, talk to a wills and probate solicitor firm like spencerssolicitors.com who have an online enquiry form you can fill in.
Conversely, if you don’t state that you want a beloved niece or nephew to receive a quarter of the estate, they may not inherit anything because it will all go to your spouse and children by default. If you want a caregiver to receive a bequest and not have the case challenged in court, consult with a solicitor when drafting your will.
2. You Need to Ensure Proper Distribution of Assets
You should talk to a will and probate solicitor to ensure the proper distribution of assets, especially if the “right” distribution is not equal distribution between heirs. For example, you may want the adult child who dedicated years to your care to receive your home or 70% of your savings as payment for those efforts. If you don’t have a good will drafted up to reflect this, your heirs may force the sale of the home and equal division of the assets.
You must consult with a solicitor if you want to arrange for passing down a family business intact to the family member running it and giving the family home to someone else. Another case is dividing assets between first and second spouses or children by different relationships. If you don’t identify who you want to receive portions of the estate, it is possible that illegitimate children and grandchildren may be excluded.
3. You Want to Exclude Certain People
One reason to work with a good solicitor when drafting a will is to avoid claims against the estate. If you want to specifically exclude someone from a will, a solicitor can help you draft a will that excludes their claims while preventing the issue from going to court. An estate planning expert can also help you take the necessary steps now while alive to ensure that your debts are paid without interfering with your desired distribution of assets.
If you want your wishes carried out, especially something other than simply dividing assets equally among obvious heirs, you need to consult with a probate expert. Your family will appreciate not having to deal with the drama because the estate is settled quickly and cleanly.