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What Our Clients Say
Thank you for your excellent work concerning my Mums estate. Could you also thank Jenny Cottrell for her help as well. We were so please with all of your help. I would recommend you to all of my friends.Client of Leanne Routledge & Jenny Cottrell
I walked in off the street, Leanne saw me immediately and completed in a week, very impressed. I must also say your Receptionists were excellent, very friendly.Client of Leanne Routledge
Very helpful and understanding.Client of Catherine Murton
Thank you to Catherine for her warm manner coupled with professional excellence and efficiency.Client of Catherine Murton
Very professional and helpful.Anonymous in relation to Leanne Routledge
I was very grateful to Catherine Murton for all the home visits and especially for bringing forms for me to sign in hospital whilst I was ill and her concern for my health.Grateful Client
Nigel is very good at his job. He looked after me and my mother so well. 10/10. A*. Keep up the good work you do.Client of Nigel Isaac
I felt I was a person not just a customer and was kept informed whilst dealing with mum’s estate. Thanks to Lindsay ChallonerThrilled Client
Legal language is complicated but explained very clearly. Quick, efficient, clear, local, rang one day and appointment the next day!Private client
Found very helpful and pleasant, answered all questions no matter how stupid!Client of Catherine Murton
Personal attention - professional advice given in a friendly manner.Anonymous in relation to Leanne Routledge
Very courteous and understanding.Client of Leanne Routledge
We were received with patience and kindness from our solicitor.Private client
Legalities were made very easy to understand.Client of Catherine Murton
I was left at peace with what happened. Service is excellent. I cannot think how it could be improved.Client of Leanne Routledge
Friendly, patient and explained everything very well.Client of Leanne Routledge
I've used Pardoes for years and always receive good servicePrivate Client RE Leanne Routledge
I only ever experienced a very high standard. Swift, efficient and welcoming.Client of Leanne Routledge
My questions/queries were answered promptly in a way I easily understood. I noticed Pardoes whilst travelling to Yeovil by bus. It had a small, open frontage with off road parking. It looked welcoming and professional. The service was absolutely first class. The receptionists were very professional. I would have no concerns approaching Pardoes for any further help or advice. Catherine Murton is superb.Anonymous in relation to Catherine Murton
Because of mobility restrictions, we were very impressed by the personal service that was provided.Private Client
You have been a great help.Client of Leanne Routledge
Catherine was very approachable and a pleasure to deal with.Anonymous in relation to Catherine Murton
All Receptionists were very good at all times. Leanne was very quick to respond and visit home as required. Also very helpful at all times and explained everything fully and carefully.Client of Leanne Routledge
Excellent Service!Anonymous in relation to Catherine Murton
Leanne was so helpful! Thank youPrivate Client RE Leanne Routledge
Personal recommendation is key when choosing a Solicitor and Pardoes have been impressive.Client of Catherine Murton
Everything was made very straight forward. We were completely satisfied with every aspect of your service.Client of Leanne Routledge
My needs met by friendly competent approachable people. Very happy thank you.Private client re Jacqui Hellings
The service was excellent and would be easy to recommend.Client of Leanne Routledge
Excellent customer service and professionalism.Client of Leanne Routledge
I would recommend Pardoes to someone else because they have been very helpful on a number of occasions. Staff are professional but friendly.Anonymous in relation to Leanne Routledge
Ms Routledge explained everything clearly and answered all my questions.Client of Leanne Routledge
I liked the way Ms Routledge listened, spoke & wrote my Will in plain English.Client of Leanne Routledge
You cannot improve on perfection. Excellent service given.Client of Leanne Routledge
Everything was explained so clearly and concisely and followed up in writing. A superb team. No hesitation whatsoever to contact Pardoes again. Catherine Murton is superb. My grateful thanks to all concerned.Client of Catherine Murton
Nigel dealt with my questions and concerns in a professional and friendly wayPrivate Client RE Nigel Isaac
Nigel Isaac put me very much at ease and was very thoughtful when dealing with my husband during home visitsAnonymous in relation to Nigel Isaac
All staff polite, responsive, informative, helpful, kind and understanding. I would definitely consider Adam for further legal issues. Maintain the lovely friendly service you provide.Client of Adam Hillier
Very satisfied with the work you did for us. Thank you.Private client
What happens if I do not make a Will?
To illustrate why it is important to make a Will, it is perhaps to show what happens if a person dies without having made a Will.
In such a case, the law sets out:
1. Who will inherit your estate; and
2. Who will have the legal authority to deal with your estate.
The order of persons entitled is set down in the statutory intestacy rules.
When a person dies without a valid Will it is his/her relatives who may benefit from his/her estate and the groups of eligible relatives are as follows:
- Spouse/Civil Partner*
- Brother(s) or sister(s) of the whole blood or their issue
- Brother(s) or sister(s) of the half blood or their issue
- Uncle(s) or aunts(s) of the whole blood or their issue
- Uncle(s) or aunts(s) of the half blood or their issue
*As defined by the Civil Partnership Act 2004 (civil partnership registration of same sex couples - see HMRC.gov.uk or contact our wills, probate and tax planning solicitors for further details)
Who takes what?
The answer depends upon the size of the estate and which, if any, of the above group of relatives are living at the time of a person's death and fully eligible to inherit.
It is worth noting that the word 'issue' means children or grandchildren or remoter lineal descendants. Adopted and legitimated children can also inherit under the intestacy rules. The same is true of illegitimate children, provided they can prove their parentage. Step-children do not qualify unless they have been legally adopted by the deceased.
Does a spouse/civil partner always qualify?
Divorce or legal separation breaks the inheritance chain, until then, however, whether or not the husband and wife or civil partners are living together, they are still treated as married. Therefore if a person is in the process of divorcing or separating it is very important to consider making a Will (or changing an existing Will) if that person does not want his/her spouse/civil partner to inherit.
Problems can result.
As you will appreciate, to die without a valid Will can cause problems.
For example, the person or persons you may wish to deal with your affairs and inherit may not be entitled and relatives with whom you might have lost touch (or never even met) may have to be located, which can take additional time and money.
The order of distribution on an intestacy
The following example situations illustrate the operation of the intestacy rules in respect of all deaths occurring on or after 1st February 2009.
Married person - with children
The surviving spouse/civil partner gets everything up to a value of £250, 000¹, plus personal possessions.
Anything remaining is divided:
- Half goes to the children at 18 years of age, equally;
- The other half goes into a trust during the lifetime of the surviving spouse/civil partner under which he or she gets only the income with no access to the underlying capital. On the death of the surviving spouse/civil partner this half (or the then value of such) goes to the children at 18 years of age, equally.
Married person – no children
If the person has parents or brother(s) or sister(s) of the whole blood (or issue of deceased brother(s) or sister(s)):
The surviving spouse/civil partner gets everything up to £450,000² plus personal possessions;
Anything remaining is divided:
- Half goes to the surviving spouse/civil partner outright; then
- The remaining half goes to the parents. If no parent is living, then this half goes to the brother(s) or sister(s) of the whole blood or, if they are dead, to their issue.
No surviving spouse/civil partner
For example, in the case of a death of a widow/widower, bachelor or spinster or divorcee who has not remarried, the following list sets out the groups of eligible relatives who may benefit from his/her estate and the order in which they are applied:
- Children or remoter descendents
- Brother(s) and sister(s) of the whole blood or their issue
- Half brother(s) and half sister(s) or their issue.
- Uncle(s) and aunt(s) or their issue
- Half uncle(s) and half aunt(s) or their issue
- The Crown or to the Duchy of Lancaster or the Duchy of Cornwall for the time being as 'bona vacantia'.
So, for example, if there are no children or remoter descendants, the parents inherit; grandparents would inherit only if there were no surviving children or remoter descendants, parents or brothers or sisters of any kind or their offspring.
It is worth making a Will?
For reasons of certainty, cost and peace of mind it is best to make a Will.
This guidance memorandum takes into account UK law and practice as we understand it to be as at the 7 May 2013.
The law relating to intestacy can be complicated and difficult to understand, which is why this guidance memorandum is not intended as a comprehensive summary, but only as an outline of the intestacy rules as at the 23 August 2012. For more detailed information, or should you require any clarification for a particular situation, contact a member of our wills, probate and tax planning team for further advice.
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