What to Do When Someone Dies Without a WillWhat to Do When Someone Dies Without a Will

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What to Do When Someone Dies Without a Will

Hello, my name is Kerry. Last year my mother died suddenly. When we went through her papers, we discovered she didn't have a will. My mother had been married to another man before she met my father and I had a couple of step brothers. Unfortunately, they turned up on our doorstep and started to demand that we hand over my mother's life savings to them and their family. I contacted a lawyer who specialises in probate law. She talked me through my case and explained how we would defend it in court. Thankfully, the matter was resolved to my satisfaction and I could start to grieve for my mother. I decided to start this blog to help others who have a contested will on their hands.

How to Avoid a Punitive Jail Sentence

There are thousands upon thousands of pages representing codified laws in the criminal justice system. In fact, it's an ever-evolving process, and many new laws have been created or heavily modified today, as compared to a decade ago. Each individual case that's brought forward to the judiciary can result in an unpredictable outcome, depending on the strength of the evidence for or against, or the professional skills of the appointed counsel. So, if you've confessed to a particularly serious offence, how can you present a case to avoid the imposition of a punitive sentence?

Community Interests First

The legal system is set up to ensure that the community in general is as protected as possible and to safeguard its best interests. It's not always the case that a punitive jail sentence would be in the best interests of the community, even when it comes to quite serious offences.


For example, if the individual in question had been engaged in the trafficking of controlled substances, then much will depend on what has happened in between that time and the current date. In some cases, the court may find that the offender had gone through a sufficient amount of rehabilitation, to ensure leniency.

The argument in this case could be that the process of rehabilitation was completed successfully and without question and that the imposition of a custodial sentence could potentially undo the good work. The court may find that the rehabilitation work to date should be preserved, while time inside a prison could push the individual back toward their "old ways."

Proof and Witness

In order for this type of defence to work, the original offender would need to prove that they had indeed changed direction and show clear evidence of rehabilitation. Outside witnesses would have to be brought in to back up any claims and action, and there should be no "grey areas" in the submission.

Vested Interests

Fundamentally, therefore, it would be felt that the community is best served and has a vested interest in the continuance of any rehabilitation process. Additional problems could be created in the future if a custodial sentence was to be imposed now instead.

Putting Your Case Forward

If you feel that the court should take other factors into consideration as far as your serious case is concerned, you'd be best advised to get an experienced criminal law attorney to help you present your position.