What is a will?
A will is a legal document which confirms someone's wishes for their property and assets (known as their "estate") after they die.
Wills have to be signed and witnessed in a specific way to make them valid so even though there may be a will found amongst the deceased's paperwork, it is worth getting advice to see if it is actually legally effective.
If someone dies without a will then their estate will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy, which is the default if no formal wishes have been made. This means an estate will get distributed in a particular order to various relatives however, if there is no family at all that can be traced, then the estate may be given to the Crown instead. This is an unusual and rare situation but can still happen.
Please do speak to us if you wish to have advice on a will's validity.
View all FAQs