An article published in the Eastern Daily Press on 1st January 2019 has highlighted the number of estates which are unclaimed. According to the article, there are 78 estates with Norfolk and Waveney connections which are unclaimed (and many more throughout the country). This figure shows just how important it is to make a will. Many estates are likely to 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 figure shows 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 and 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 fixed fee family law clinics – please call 01692 581231 for further details or to make an appointment.