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Costs Of Not Preparing A Will Can Be Heavy


A recent case currently being handled by Co-operative Legal Services has highlighted just how complex, time consuming and expensive it can be to process a personís estate when no Will has been made.

The estate of an 98 year old lady who had passed away was estimated to value around £150,000, two thirds of which was the property she lived in.

Because there was no Will the normal rules of Intestacy applied and steps were taken to identify the beneficiaries. Initially it was thought that there were only 4 beneficiaries entitled to receive any of the estate. However there was no knowledge of any relatives on the paternal side of the family and as Administrators of the intestate estate Co-operative Legal Services were under a duty to make reasonable enquiries to determine the existence and whereabouts of unknown potential beneficiaries - it was obviously possible there might be someone else entitled to share the estate.

In this case, as the root of entitlement went back to a couple who married in 1866, a firm of professional genealogists was instructed to trace the beneficiaries.

As a result in addition to the 4 known relatives a further 27 living descendants were discovered on the fatherís side. .

The case is still open after 6 months and it is likely to be some time before the beneficiaries receive any funds however it is interesting to note that the largest single cheque paid from the estate is likely to be the fee charged by the genealogists.

Some descendants are entitled to 1/168th of the estate, with others receiving between 1/12th and 1/120th of the estate. Our Clients who were the only members of the family who even knew the deceased and who were expecting to receive all the estate will receive just 25% of what they and their great aunt thought they would.

Iain Cameron at Co-operative Trust Corporation states ď this just puts the £115 cost of having a professionally drafted Will into perspective. A Will is a cost effective way of making sure your wishes are carried out after your death and making sure your hard earned assets go to the people, or charities, you want them to rather than to someone you didnít even know existed.Ē


 Will Writing
 Co-operative Legal

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