Why make a Will?

Legal clinic round up – July 2018

Every month we hold free legal clinics in Kingsbridge, Totnes and Dartmouth. 

We had a busy month at all three clinics. We are always happy to try to tackle any issue and if we don’t immediately know the answer we usually know someone who does. Our specialist areas are wills, lasting powers of attorney and administration of estates and disputes.

A man spoke to us this month about whether he should make a will. He lives with his girlfriend and two children aged 12 and 14 in a house they purchased ten years ago. The mortgage company insisted the property was registered in his sole name as his girlfriend was not working and would not be directly contributing to the mortgage payments.

We explained that without a will his girlfriend would not have any right to the property if he died and it would pass on intestacy rules to their young children. If the mortgage company required the mortgage to be repaid the property would most likely be sold.

His girlfriend’s only option to save the family home and keep financial stability would be to start a claim against their children for her share in the property.  A separate solicitor would be appointed for their children and legal fees would run into several thousand pounds. The alternative was to make a will.  It would cost a couple of hundred pounds but would ensure that his girlfriend and children avoided unnecessary cost and heartache dealing with legal proceedings as well as grieving for him.