Wills & Probate
Writing a Will is a vitally important task that everyone should undertake. It ensures that your wishes about what happens to your money, possessions, and property, are carried out after your death. At David Lee we ensure that your affairs are all legal and correct.
- Writing a Will
Putting a plan in place to look after your loved ones in the worse case scenario is something you should not put off.
Dying without a valid Will in place is called dying “intestate” – meaning the Courts can decide who benefits from your estate. This may not be as you intended. As you can imagine, this can cause serious problems and can cause unintended legal, financial, and emotional distress to your friends and family.
A Will is a legal document, and as such, it requires consultation with a specialist. Any small error in wording is open to interpretation, which can lead to your estate being mismanaged or even declared invalid.
We can help you to avoid these errors, and advise you on the entire process, such as deciding how to divide your estate between multiple beneficiaries and appointing a suitable executor.
- Contested probate
A contested probate can be a very distressing process for grieving family, friends and executors. When a person (a “testator”) dies then their property is distributed by their executors, who are named in the Will.
However, a number of problems can arise, such as whether the person was of sound mind or whether they wrote their Will correctly.
If a Will is rendered invalid for these or any other reason, the Courts can decide how the estate is divided and the people you hope to benefit may receive nothing.
These, and many other problems, can be resolved with the help of an experienced solicitor.
When a person dies intestate, or family members believe the Will is questionable (such as in the case of a person who is not of sound mind, or unduly influenced by a third party) it is possible to contest it. We can help you to decide on the appropriate course of action, and represent you throughout.
- Will storage
We can store your Will securely and safely. You can imagine the difficulty when, after someone has passed away, their Will is found to have been rendered un-readable through water damage, or has been lost. In these instances, problems can arise. You can avoid those by asking us to look after your Will. It is accessible only by you or your executor, on proof of identity.
People who store their Wills with us not only receive peace of mind, they also receive the following:
- A photocopy of their Will, to keep with their important papers.
- A Digital copy held on our secure servers.
- A Notice confirming that David Lee Solicitors hold the original Will.
- Free storage of the Will in a secure, temperature and humidity controlled environment.
- Lasting Powers of Attorney
Lasting Powers of Attorney are documents that allow a representative (an attorney) to be appointed in the case of someone losing capacity to deal with their own affairs.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney: one to deal with financial decisions; and one to deal with health and welfare issues. If it is felt appropriate, different attorneys can be appointed to deal with these different aspects.
Lasting Powers of Attorney are regulated by the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Attorneys need to be aware of the principles laid down in that Act when taking decisions.
If a person loses capacity but does not have a Lasting Power of Attorney, an application will need to be made to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order, which is a more complicated and time-consuming process. It also means that the person has no choice over who is appointed to act for them.
We can offer advice on the creation of Lasting Powers of Attorney and the duties and responsibilities of Attorneys. We can also assist with the preparation of the documents and registration of the Lasting Power of Attorney with the Office of the Public Guardian (this has to be completed before the Lasting Power of Attorney is valid).
At David Lee Solicitors, we are only ever a phone call or an email away. If you want to make an enquiry concerning potential legal representation, please use the contact form on this site. Alternatively, if you would rather speak to someone in person, you can call us on 01926 852 188Contact Form