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Lawyer asks: Where do you keep yours?
Article date: 12/06/2013
A lawyer who looks after the private affairs of hundreds of people across the Midlands is encouraging locals to make sure they tell someone where their will is kept after a major will hunt eventually found the document in the most obvious of places.
Sarah Cairns, an associate in Higgs & Sons' private client team, says the hunt for the deceased's will involved a firm of solicitors that had closed down, a new firm based hundreds of miles away from the deceased and the search of many boxes of paperwork in the house. The offending document was eventually found under the mattress of the deceased!
"The most sensible solution is to ensure that the will is stored with your solicitor. It may seem like an obvious piece of advice, but it's a common problem in our industry," explains Sarah.
"Over the years we've found wills in many interesting locations. This most recent case was the biggest search yet though. Once you've had your will written, most solicitors, like us, will store your will free of charge. This is the best solution for everybody involved as the loss of a will, or worse, not to have one at all can cause untold anxiety for those left behind."
Sarah says that many people in the region will not even have a will. "In many cases, spouses and civil partners will not automatically inherit all of your estate without a will, and if you have children, it's a good idea to say who you would like to look after them if you die before they reach the age of 18.
"If you do not have a will, the intestacy rules will dictate how much of your estate is left to your loved ones and in what proportion, and who deals with your estate.
"Even if you have a will, it may not be up to date and should definitely be reviewed in the event of any births, deaths, marriages, divorces, bankruptcies or other changes in circumstances relating to you and your family," says Sarah.
Higgs & Sons works from two offices in the Black Country - Waterfront Business Park in Brierley Hill and Kingswinford. The firm employs more than 200 people, which includes over 100 specialist lawyers.
For advice on making or amending your will call Sarah on 0845 111 5050 or email email@example.com