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Accessible legal tips, know-how and news for anyone with a complaint or legal issue from Stephen Gold, author of The Return of Breaking Law, the book

Tuesday 8 November 2016


"It's time to make a will. They'll be trouble when you kick the bucket if you don't."
"I'm washing my hair. I've got to pick up the leaves, I mean I've got to get ready for the American Presidential election results, I mean my throat is so sore, I can't think straight..."

I know, I know. A bit like putting off an appointment with the dentist. The spur this month to getting on with it is the Will Aid Scheme. Supporting solicitors will prepare you a will in return for a donation to charity. The recommended donation is £95 per will or £150 for mirror wills- you can't see your face in them but one will mirrors the other where say spouses or partners are making them. Go to willaid.org.uk

Without a will, the intestacy laws kick in. You might not like them. You are survived by a spouse or civil partner but no children? The spouse or civil partner scoop the lot. You are survived by a spouse or civil partner plus children (the big and ugly ones included)? The first £250,000 goes to the surviving spouse or partner and the rest is divided as to one-half to them and the other half to the children. And so on. If the family home is jointly held as 'joint tenants' then the surviving joint owner automatically gets the deceased's share on top of the intestacy entitlement though that is a scenario which can be easily changed.

And if you want to leave someone out of the will who had expectations, then you can put a statement with the will saying why which would be considered by the court of they made a challenge to the will while you looked on from upstairs.

A DIY will? It's too easy to mess it up. Not recommended.

For more, go to Breaking Law at chapter 32.

And cancel the hair wash.