Our best friend of 50 years has recently died

Our best friend of 50 years has recently died. She has not seen her family for many years and left a note with her papers saying that she wanted us to have everything. Are we able to carry out her wishes?

Probably not. In order to make a valid gift on death there needs to be a document signed by your friend in the presence of two independent witnesses who should also sign in her presence and in the presence of each other. If your friend has not made such a document (a Will) then she is said to have died intestate (without a will). The rules of intestacy decide how her money, property and her personal possessions (her estate) should be divided. The rules of intestacy were introduced in 1925 and take little account of modern day living and this is why it is extremely important to make a valid will with a solicitor

What is meant by the term conveyancing?

This is the method by which ownership of or rights in a property are transferred from one person to another. The procedure can be very confusing as clients are often faced with a maze of legal complexities that most of them have not encountered before. We offer a personal approachable service to meet each individual client’s needs.

We understand that buying or selling a property can be a stressful experience and this is why we will work with you using our knowledge and expertise to ensure that your move is as stress free and as smooth as possible. We find that most of our clients like our personal approach and prefer to deal with the same person every time rather than to deal with a firm that operates a “call centre” approach. This will be one of the biggest transactions of your life and we want to complete the process with minimum disruption and to a timescale to suit you.

My wife and I are divorcing; we have been married for 20 years and have two school aged children. Do we need solicitors to help us through the process?

I appreciate that you may not wish to use solicitors as you want to ensure that “family funds” are available for your family and not used up in legal costs. However cut-price options are not always the best and can end up costing a lot more and adding to what is already a stressful time. You do need solicitors to help where there is an imbalance of power between the parties, or if one or both of them are being difficult or withholding information. The legal process of getting a divorce is a relatively straightforward process. What is generally much more complex is sorting out the practical issues such as where each person will live, who gets what, and arrangements for any children. A family law solicitor will advise about your rights and the options available to you. They will also explain some of the financial complexities and will help identify the issues that the court will consider and give you advice. Seeking legal advice from a solicitor will often save you time and money in the long run.

At Dixon Stewart we can help you with all of the above and more so if you have a legal problem then do get in touch on enquiry@dixonstewart.com or by calling us on 01425 621515