Failure to draw up accurately-written wills is resulting in families being unable to take control of their loved one’s estates when they pass away, a legal expert has claimed.
Tom Morrish, regional co-ordinator for Yorkshire with SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly), said wills drawn up by unregulated and unqualified personnel do not offer the same protections as those drawn up by professionals and can result in the failure of the deceased’s home and possessions to end up in the hands of those they had chosen.
Mr Morrish, who is also partner at Morrish Solicitors based in Leeds, said that the consequence of having a poorly written or stored will could mean that “the people you are trying to benefit won’t inherit”.
He said: “If you make a will that is not signed properly then the right people will not necessarily get (what they are supposed to). The main concern is for people who have families and are living with a partner to whom they are not married, as there is no automatic inheritance between unmarried people.”
Mr Morrish added that a will drawn up someone not properly regulated will not ensure the same guarantees of being safely stored, meaning if the company goes bust or merges with another firm it is impossible to trace.
“A will that cannot be found is as bad as having no will,” he said.
“A solicitor has to keep it forever. If they merge with a firm then the Law Society keeps a record so they can trace it.”
To raise awareness The Yorkshire Post has teamed up with SFE to stage a seminar open to the general public to help people understand the issues surrounding wills.
The free event will take place at our offices on 26 Whitehall Road, Leeds, LS12 1BE on March 31. It will be a lunchtime event with refreshments provided. To book a place please contact Tim Rogers on 0113 238 8839 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.