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Family home main issue in Wills disputes

View profile for Andrew Leakey
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The BBC2 series ‘Can’t take it with you’ has raised significant awareness of the need to plan properly for the future by making a Will.
 
The series as a whole deals with the dilemmas people face when writing a Will and helps them with the often neglected task of working out how to divide their estate among their loved ones. 
 
The BBC series featured businessman Sir Gerry Robinson and solicitor Sue Medder, who help families make decisions in relation to their Wills, and bring them together to discuss who gets what and why. 
 
It may be surprising to learn that 70% of people do not make a Will, taking the decision of what happens to their assets after they’re gone out of their hands.
 
Anyone who has made a Will will know that an Executor needs to be appointed – someone who can deal with the administration of the estate after death.
 
This can be a very complex and lengthy process. Often, it’s the family home which is the most valuable asset in a person’s estate and the sale of the property can cause contention among beneficiaries if they believe it has been under valued.
 
It is an Executor’s role to seek a proper valuation on the property that is to be sold. This should mean using a RICS qualified valuer to value a property left in someone’s estate.
 
If an Executor obtains a valuation which is then disputed by the beneficiaries of that Will, and they haven’t used a RICs qualified valuer to carry out a full valuation of the property in question, they could leave themselves open to disputes. This could result in them being personally sued by the beneficiaries for the value lost.
 
If you choose an experienced solicitor to help you draw up your Will, they will be able to help to choose a responsible Executor, in order to keep potential problems to a minimum.
 
 

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