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.

4 Common DIY Will Writing Mistakes

Your will is a legal instrument which will instruct your solicitor on how they should act when dealing with and distributing your property and wealth following your death. In order to draw up a will, you will normally have to pay a legal professional who will help you to draft the document. However, some people attempt to save money by creating a DIY will. However, this isn't always the best idea. If there are any errors or omissions made when making a DIY will, the document will not be valid. Below is a guide to 4 of the most common mistakes people make when drawing up a DIY will.

Incorrect language

A will needs to be written in very specific ways using legal language. If you do not use the right words or if you format the will incorrectly, it will be not stand up in court.

Forgetting to appoint an executor

Every will needs as executor who is responsible for ensuring that the will is properly dealt with after your death. This is a legal position so it is important that you explicitly name the person who will be responsible for your will in the document itself. Failure to do so will result in an invalid will.

Leaving out assets

When writing your will, it is essential that you list every single one of your assets, if you fail to do so, this could create ambiguity about who has a right to which items. Typically, any items which are not explicitly listed as being left to a particular party will become the property of your next of kin, such as your legal partner or your children. However, if you do not have any immediate family, leaving assets out could lead to lengthy legal battles as different family members attempt to gain control.

Not having the document witnessed

For a will to be valid, it must have been witnessed by at least two people. Witnesses must be present at the moment you sign your will. This is designed to guarantee that the will is genuine and not a fake and that you have not been coerced into signing the will against your wishes. Once the witnesses have signed the will, they then sign the document to confirm that the will is valid and that it represents your true intentions. If the will has not been properly witnessed, it will not be viewed as a valid legal document.

If you would like further advice and help when creating a will, you should contact a law firm today.