Will warning for Mansfield residents

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Wills and probate specialist Catherine Walker has warned that not enough people in the Mansfield area are making their last wishes known.

Catherine, a partner at law firm Bryan and Armstrong, believes people too many people are leaving their friends and relatives with legal problems when they die.

Catherine, who is a legal executive and heads up the firm’s Private Client team, said: “Too few people are making wills, leaving a lot of pain and suffering to those left behind.

“Whoever does not have a will, really should go and see their solicitor, whoever it is, and ensure that their last wishes are recorded properly and legally.”

Catherine also says that people making a will should not rely on documents that can be downloaded from the internet or bought at stationery outlets.

“These do not cover all aspects that should be covered in a will and, while they seem easy to get hold of, they can lead to more problems further down the line,” she said.

“In relation to statistics, according to research carried out by unbiased.co.uk, Forest Friendly Society and ICM, two thirds of British adults do not have a will and of those that do, one in 10 have not told anyone where it is. Half of those aged between 55-64 have no will and in 2010 the Treasury gained £53m from people who died intestate and in 2009 it was £76m.

“Some of the reasons why people don’t make wills is that they think they are going to die. I know we all are heading that way but somehow talking about it makes people think they are closer to it,” said Catherine.

“People consider it to be too morbid a subject. Basically, if you have kids or a house or a bank account (which covers most of us), you should have a will in place to effectively dispose of your assets and make provision and arrangements for the care of your children.”

For more information, visit www.bryanandarmstrong.co.uk