• Many people now cohabit instead of marrying, including same sex couples. They think that they will be provided for if their partner dies. Without a will your next of kin may inherit everything instead of your partner.
• Do you have children from more than one relationship? If so you will need to specify how
much of your estate they are to inherit and why.
At Emmersons we have designed a comprehensive questionnaire covering a range of issues that you should consider when making a will. We can also advise on the best way to reduce the potential for care home fees. Our aim is to ensure that your wishes are carried out without anyone being able to challenge your will. It could cost thousands of pounds and a lot of heartache if a will is challenged.
We also deal with Powers of Attorney and Contested Estates.
The buying and selling of houses can actually be quite complicated. No two cases are the same. It is obviously more complex than buying your groceries or even a new car. There is more to your dream home than a can of soup!
It is essential for the buyer’s solicitor to raise the correct enquiries and check the title deeds to the property. There are many types of searches, in fact there seems to be a never ending array of new searches on offer.
At Emmersons Solicitors we provide clients with a summary of the main types of search and why they are necessary. In one case recently we discovered that the entrance to a mine shaft was only 50 yards away from the front door of a property our client was about to purchase. Needless to say they didn’t go ahead.
Is the land you think you are buying owned by the seller? It may be that years ago money changed hands in respect of an extra strip of land but neither party instructed a solicitor to deal with the registration at the time.
In all cases where a mortgage is involved, your solicitor is not just acting for you but also your lender. They have very strict requirements that solicitors must follow. The demands of lenders are many. They are extremely cautious having been too lax prior to the recession. Many have lost money as a result.
In addition there is a huge amount of fraud taking place at the moment in respect of property sales and purchases. A favourite trick is for someone to spot an empty property, find out who owns it, impersonate them with numerous
documents and then sell that person’s home without their knowledge.
At Emmersons Solicitors, we have extra ID checking facilities in place; we require proof of the source of funds in order to avoid money laundering. Our staff regularly attend money laundering courses. Nearly every month there is a new scam taking place on a national basis. Last week alone the Law society alerted us to six new scams.
So what should you be looking for in a solicitor?
Speed of service- Emmersons has a state of the art case management system so that cases can be turned around in about half the usual time. In one recent case we had a new build matter ready to exchange in one week. We also have access to the Land Registry online service; this means that we can obtain documents in hours rather than days.
An ethical firm – Look for the Conveyancing Quality Mark scheme awarded by The Law Society. This means that a firm has reached a high standard in terms of service offered to clients.
A clear indication of costs – Don’t always plump for the cheapest firm. You need quality of service, a property solicitor who checks documents properly and who is able to protect you as you deal with the biggest purchase of your life.