I do not get chance to watch the BBC programme Heir Hunters very often as it is now on during the day and I am often at work (or enjoying another holiday). Are you familiar with the programme? It involves probate detectives looking for distant relatives of people who have died without making a will. The stories are sometimes quite fascinating and distant relatives can inherit life enhancing sums from a relative of whom they were not even aware.

These probate detectives work for firms some of whom charge a percentage of the estate for “tracing” you as the relative. On an estate of say £80,000 a cut of 10 per cent would provide the firm with £8,000. They fail to tell you that if you are a relative entitled to share in the estate then the estate should come to you in any event without their involvement.

The Treasury Solicitor deals with estates where there is no will and no relatives can be found immediately. The Treasury Solicitor website contains details of estates where relatives cannot be traced and with a little research you can often claim the estate incurring very little expense.

Many people will be contacted by these probate detectives out of the blue and told that someone has died and they stand to inherit some money. The exact details of who has died are withheld until they agree to sign away a significant proportion of their inheritance. Do not do this without taking legal advice and making some simple enquiries yourself.

The above should remind you of how important it is to make a will so that your chosen beneficiaries receive a share of your estate. Do not assume that your estate (your money and property) will go to those you want it to pass to without a will in place. Even if your spouse dies without having made a will you do not automatically receive all of his or her estate. The law may give you as the surviving spouse only a small part of it depending upon the value of the estate and the number of other family members who have survived. Having a will in place reassures your friends and family that they are carrying out your wishes.

At Dixon Stewart we are experienced will writers and can make the procedure painless for you. We are happy to visit you in your own home if you would prefer that or if you are unable to come into the office. The home visit is at no extra cost. Our initial meetings are always free so that you can decide how you want to proceed.

If you would like to make a will or review an old will then call us today

Helen Stewart 01425 279222

Kelly Taylor 01425 621515

Paul Moores 01425 673994

Or e mail enquiry@dixonstewart.com