Protect your assets and let a solicitor draft your Will

We all want to make sure that when we die, our assets are going to go to the people we intend them to. Unfortunately, once you’re gone, you are not able to coordinate the management of your estate, and people you didn’t intend to leave anything to might come forward and claim they believe they are entitled to something. Whilst the market is full of ‘DIY’ options for Will writing, getting a solicitor to draft your Will is one of the best ways to be confident that your assets will go where you want them to after you’re gone.  

A recent High Court case (Ieropoullos v Wilson, 2023) saw a woman’s final Will leave her estate split between her sister and daughter, both in her Will and by signing the deed for her house over to her daughter, leaving nothing to her son. When she passed in her late 70’s, her son came forward and questioned the validity of the documents, claiming that his sister (the beneficiary of most of the estate) had brought undue influence upon their mother and made her think ill of him. He also claimed that his mother lacked the capacity to make or approve any of the documents and couldn’t understand them.  

While the Court noted that 25 years prior to her death, the woman had suffered serious mental health issues following a traumatic relationship breakdown, and had been diagnosed with several conditions in her old age including diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, she had never been assessed as lacking mental capacity. Videos from several years before her death showed she was alert and happy, and at the end of her life she was able to decide for herself to leave hospital and return home, knowing she would die there.   

Importantly, the Court also noted that both the Will and deed had been drafted by solicitors in the absence of her daughter, who both testified that the documents accurately reflected the instructions she had given them. They stated that she was a strong-willed woman, who had given explicit instructions that she did not want her son to inherit anything from her when she died. Additionally, her revisions to the Will to include her sister reduced her daughter’s share in the estate, which made it incredibly unlikely that she was trying to manipulate her mother. The Court dismissed the son’s claims.  

Any question of the validity of a Will can actually erode the value of the estate, so it is beneficial for everyone to ensure with as much certainty as possible that this won’t happen. Solicitors can draft a side letter that accompanies the Will to explain the choices the testator (person making the Will) has made, giving extra context that can stop the Will being called into doubt. Solicitors are also likely to have experience in assessing whether the testator has the capacity to be making or amending their Will, and can obtain an appropriate medical opinion if they believe it’s required.  

Unfortunately, we have no control over the way our loved ones behave after we pass on. Ensuring your Will is drafted by a solicitor is the best way to get peace of mind that your assets will end up with the people you wish to receive them, and not people who believe they are entitled to them.  

At Bromleys, our team of empathetic solicitors are on hand to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have about drafting a will. Call us today on 0161 330 6821 or email to speak to a member of our team.