Families are being urged to take action now to stop major future fall-outs or losing cash to the Government.

The call comes today from Sweeney Miller Solicitors who has taken on a new wills and probate expert to help people avoid making costly mistakes.

Figures reveal that only one in three adults make a will despite having more complicated financial affairs and increasingly intricate family relationships.

Failing to name a beneficiary has helped swell the coffers of the Treasury and the Duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster by a staggering £38.5m in just one year.

Sweeney Miller’s newly appointed wills and probate expert Amanda McNabola, said: “Not making a will is extremely reckless especially if you have children or you are living with a new partner.  Property wrangles can last for years, cost money and in some cases tear a family apart.”

Despite the growing popularity of TV programmes such as BBC’s Heir Hunters detailing surprise windfalls, when it comes to sorting their own affairs many still have their head in the sand.

And as Amanda explained, the majority of people who end up getting hit in the pocket or involved in a legal wrangle in the absence of a will, are linked to smaller value estates.

warning on wills and probate

She added: “Many people assume that if they die intestate, that is without making a will, all their assets will automatically pass to their spouse or children. But this is not always the case.

“Also if you and your partner are not married, your partner may not get anything and if you are separated, your ex-spouse may be entitled to claim part or even all of your estate.

“Crucially if you haven’t appointed guardians to care for your children in the event of your death, it will be up to the courts to decide who looks after them and that choice may be different to yours.

“Making a will is a very quick and easy thing to do and gives peace of mind that should the worst happen, everything is in place.”

Amanda joins Sweeney Miller’s growing team from Newcastle law firm Pearson Caulfield, where she worked for six years prior to spells with BHP Law and Harvey and Marron Solicitors.

wills and probate warning

From its office in the Ashbrooke area of Sunderland Sweeney Miller has developed a strong client base in Sunderland, and the North East, as well as clients from across the country in areas such as will and probate, residential conveyancing, commercial property, personal injury and business affairs.

For information on making a will you can contact Sweeney Miller Solicitors on 0191 568 2050.