Dealing with an estate is more straightforward when the documents are in order!

This blog looks at the issues Victoria Obolensky faced when both her stepfather and her father died within 18 months of one another.  You can read her account of events here.

First, her stepfather passed away.  It appears he had intended to leave her some money from his estate.  He had written a codicil.  This is a document that goes with the Will, and is usually written to make a small change to a Will without the time and cost of writing a completely new Will.

However, just like a Will, a codicil must be correctly signed.  This codicil was not, so it could not take effect.  This means that she did not inherit the money he had planned to leave her.

If you want to make changes to your Will, please speak to us about the best way to do it.  We will give you some advice, and we can write you a new Will or write a codicil.  We will explain exactly what you must do to make sure that the WIll and/or the codicil do work, and we can arrange for them to be kept in a secure place too.

A few months later, she found out that her father had died.  He lived in Portugal and, as his next of kin, she was the person who had to arrange the funeral and sort out all his possessions, bills, and a property in Brazil.

This was a long, stressful time because he did not have a Will and most of the paperwork is in Portugese.

There is information online about what to do if a family member or loved one dies abroad.  Click here to find out more.

It is better, though, to be prepared.  If you have property or possessions in other countries or if you spend time in other countries, make sure you have a Will in the right place and in the right language for your family to understand.

You can talk to us about this and get advice on the best way to make sure your paperwork and your estate are in order.

Read more about our Wills service, and how much it costs, by clicking here.

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