There are many different circumstances why an individual may be cut out of a will. Some are deserving and some are due to the scheming of others who may take advantage of a psychologically infirm, mentally confused elderly person. If you think that you have been deliberately targeted by a deceptive third party who has induced your relative or friend to positively remove you as a potential beneficiary you should take urgent legal advice on contesting a will. Our solicitors specialise in disputed probate claims particularly for close relatives or where a deceased person has positively indicated that a particular person would benefit, only for that potential beneficiary to discover that they have been cut out of the will. For advice on disputed wills or probate just call the helpline for free advice with no further obligation.

Making a Will

Making a will is an important duty that many people forget or do so completely inadequately. It's often said that the largest and most important financial transaction that most people will make during their lifetime involves buying their own home however that is not strictly true. An even more important issue relates to how assets are distributed after the death of the owner. The majority of the UK population are substantially wealthier than those in previous generations and most people will own assets at the time of their death. Without a properly drafted and legally executed document giving instructions about the disposal of assets the State steps in and applies its own rules which in some cases can mean that all of the assets of the deceased are forfeited, deserving beneficiaries are cut out of the will and everything is passed to the Crown only to end up in the Chancellors coffers. Whist a testator may intend that certain people do not benefit from their will, there are many times when an intended beneficiary is unintentionally cut out of a will due to poor draftsmanship of the document.

It is therefore a matter of supreme importance that every individual leaves sufficient instructions to ensure that their assets are distributed according to their wishes which can only be carried out by making a will that is legally enforceable. Of course there is no need to employ solicitors or a will making service and many people use do it yourself will pack documents with varying degrees of success however you must ask yourself whether or not you are prepared to trust your own amateur abilities or the skills of unqualified or inexperienced will writers with your assets after you are gone. You may have family members who are dependants including a spouse or children and the last thing that your family need is to have those inadvertently cut out of the will to have to dispute a badly drafted or unenforceable will coupled with the grief of losing a loved one.

The errors most frequently encountered by solicitors in regards to an individual making a will that is not professionally prepared include :-

  • inadequate signature and execution of the will by the testator and by the witnesses
  • allowing the Crown to claim assets that are not specifically distributed to beneficiaries
  • failure to consider eventualities in the case of a named beneficiary dying first
  • improper alteration of a will thereby making it totally or partially null and void
  • failing to consider the effects of births, marriages, deaths, divorce and civil partnerships and planning accordingly
  • failure to consider if other dependants who are not named as beneficiaries may have a prior claim on assets
  • inadvertently drafting clauses that ensure deserving beneficiaries are cut out of the will

When our solicitors are making a will they use modern will precedents that have been written in plain English, that are tried and tested and ensure that no one to whom the testator wished to leave assets is cut out of the will. You will not be bamboozled by legal jargon either on the telephone or in the documents supplied by us. We will explain the roll of executors and offer our services for this task if there is no competent layman you can appoint to the position. Our charges are very reasonable and depend on the amount of work necessary to carry out your instructions. We are able to provide you with a quotation on-line or over the telephone and offer discounts for family wills or mirror wills for spouses. Whilst we cannot totally promise you a pure online will as we may need to also use post, fax and the telephone we can promise you that you will not have to attend the offices of any solicitor as the entire matter can be dealt with from the comfort of your own home.

For those with substantial assets there may be a necessity to consider death duty planning to ensure that the burden of tax on death is minimised. We offer a full professional service with access to qualified accountants when the need arises. Assets valued at a figure above the current allowance is taxed at 40% on the value of property and assets and on certain lifetime gifts subject to available exemptions and relief. There are a number of different ways in which liability to tax upon death can be lawfully and legitimately reduced both during the deceased's lifetime and after death however this does usually require expert advice.