The Eastern Daily Press has published an article on 6 November 2017 highlighting the numbers of people who die in Norfolk without having made a will and have an unclaimed estate (86 people), or who were born in Norfolk and died without having made a will and have an unclaimed estate (12 people).
The article states that as many as 30 people in Norwich alone have died without having made a will and have an unclaimed estate. Many unclaimed estates will be worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, and perhaps even more.
If someone dies without having made a will, the person is said to die ‘intestate’ and there is a hierarchy of family members who are able to claim the estate. If there are no surviving relatives entitled to make a claim, then the estate will pass to the Crown, and the person is said to die ‘bona vacantia’.
The statistics show just how many people die in the Norwich and Norfolk area without having made a will. It is so important not just to make a will, but to make a will which will be valid will ensure your wishes are carried out. Always consider taking professional advice and beware of the risks of DIY wills! Furthermore, once you have made a will, ensure it is stored safely (perhaps with the firm of solicitors that assisted in the preparation of the will) and tell your executors where your will is held. It is of course no use making a will if it cannot be found after your death.
This article aims to supply general information but it is not intended to constitute advice. Every effort is made to ensure that the law referred to is correct at the date of publication and to avoid any statement which may mislead. However, no duty of care is assumed to any person and no liability is accepted for any omission or inaccuracy. Always seek specific advice.
Capron & Helliwell Solicitors offer a range of legal services at the firm’s Stalham and Wroxham offices near North Walsham and Norwich in Norfolk. The firm specialises in areas including family law, conveyancing and private client law including wills and probate. Capron & Helliwell Solicitors offer free family law clinics – please call 01692 581231 or 01603 783818 for further details or to make an appointment