Mr E had been living in a care home for a number of years with his care home fees funded by the NHS. Following an assessment of his care needs, NHS funding was withdrawn and he then became liable to pay the care home fees from his own funds. A professional deputy was appointed to act for him to deal with his finances.
Once appointed, the deputy discovered that Mr E had substantial assets totalling well over £2 million. We also located papers and photographs which indicated that he had two sons. On speaking to his friends it became clear that he had not had any contact either with the children or their mothers for a long time.
We also found what purported to be a Will leaving significant sums to some of his friends. The Will was not executed correctly and therefore was invalid. It was obvious that Mr E had always been very generous to his friends in the past and that he wished to leave them most of his estate.
We considered it to be in Mr E’s best interests to apply to the Court for a Statutory Will in order to give effect to the wishes expressed in his home made will. We instructed an agency to try to locate Mr E’s children and other family members to tell them about our proposed statutory Will. Sadly it was not possible to trace his children.
We drafted a will appointing executors and including the gifts as set out in the invalid Will. However, it was not considered reasonable to simply disinherit the children we had been unable to locate. We therefore applied for the Will to give specific gifts to the friends, but otherwise to follow the intestacy rules meaning that Mr E’s wishes could be carried out while also leaving an inheritance to his sons.