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A simple guide to making a will for those people with no family

These questions and answers provide guidance on the important aspects of making a will if you have no living relatives:

If you have no living relatives or are estranged from your family, what are the main things to consider when writing a will?
  • Firstly, to consider who you would like your Executors to be.
  • The next thing would be where you would like your assets to go.
  • Although not legally binding, you may also wish to put funeral wishes into your Will.
Who can be appointed as executor of the will if there are no family members to appoint?
  • If you have no family or close friends that could administer your estate, you could consider having professional executors ie the partners of a solicitor's firm.
How can a solicitor help someone who has no family plan their future care?
  • By putting in place Lasting Powers of Attorney.
  • If you have no family, you can have legal professionals or friends who will act in your best interests.
What is an Inheritance Act clause and how does it work? 
  • The clause is inserted to show that you intentionally meant to exclude a person or persons from your will. It is not legally binding but shows your intention to exclude that person(s).
What advice would you give to someone who is estranged from / has no family when it comes to writing a will?
  • They would need to carefully consider who they wish their assets to pass to and whether there are likely to be any challenges to that will.
  • They should write a separate side letter setting out factual reason why they are excluding that person(s) from their will (and in some cases, obtain a medical report).
  • They should always ensure they take proper legal advice.

Written by Janine Guthrie, Tayntons Solicitors

DISCLAIMER: This article should not be regarded as constituting legal advice in relation to particular circumstances. It is merely a general comment on the relevant topic. If specific advice is required in connection with any of the matters covered in this article, please speak to Tayntons Solicitors directly.

Published on 30th July 2019
(Last updated 13th November 2019)

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