Wills and Planning for the Future
Your will is one of the most important documents you will ever sign. We are experienced in both writing wills and also putting wills into effect following a death.
Statistics have shown that a shocking 70 per cent of people die without a will. The rules of intestacy which apply in such circumstances have the potential to provide unexpected results and inevitably lead to unnecessary distress for the family of the deceased. As well as ensuring that your estate passes to those you intend to receive it, we can help to save thousands of pounds in inheritance tax by advising you on the most tax efficient methods of planning your estate.
Contesting a Will
It is unfortunate that, sometimes, that the death of a loved one can lead to later disputes over the contents of a will. For example, disputes can arise where:
• A dependant has not been sufficiently provided for. Provisions for dependants are usually dealt with under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 which gives certain family members who were dependent upon the deceased at the time of death an automatic right to challenge the will
• The validity of the will is questioned. Challenges will also occur when it is alleged that the will was signed incorrectly, or that the deceased was being influenced by another person at the time that they entered into the will or that they were not capable of understanding the terms of the will, usually through mental or physical incapability.
• The mental capacity of the deceased person at the time they made the will is challenged. In this case, we will provide you with comprehensive advice on both probate law and court procedure assisting you in either challenging or defending the will.
Although the Administration of Estates Act provides a basic formula for the distribution of estates where no will has been prepared, most people will wish to make gifts that may not otherwise be provided for under the Act. The only way to be sure that your wishes will be carried out after your death is to make a will.
You should be aware a will becomes void following marriage (unless stated to be in contemplation of that marriage) and it will also be significantly altered following the granting of a decree absolute (divorce). It is therefore essential that your will is kept up to date and we would recommend that it is reviewed every five years.
GCA Solicitors has the expertise, knowledge and depth of experience to help you achieve the outcome you seek. Whether it is for family matters such as divorce or separation, domestic violence, children, wills trusts, commercial law and conveyancing we have the expertise to get a satisfactory resolution. REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT