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When our team of Probate solicitors in Preston ask our clients if they want the short answer or the longer answer to their questions, we get a mixed response. So, for those who want to read the first line then gloss over the rest, the short answer is: no, you don’t have to leave your estate to your family. At the end of the day, you should be able to leave money to whoever you want to leave it to. 
However, for those of you who want the long answer, here goes… 
As our Probate Solicitors in Preston have explained, you do not have to leave everything to family. However, people who chose not to, may leave themselves open to a claim by their spouse, or partner, or relatives. 
In a recent case, a taxi passenger, who found it hard to find a taxi driver willing to drive him to his favourite place – local pubs – left his entire estate, including his home worth £160,000.00, to the only driver who was willing. 
The Court heard that the pair became close, and Mr Hughes, the taxi driver, had discussed the details of Mr Mendez’s new Will, before taking the document to him for him to sign in the pub. 
Mr Rodrigues, the partner of the late Mr Mendez, contested the Will, arguing that it was his belief that Mr Mendez had always intended for him to remain living in the property, following either his death or in the event that they separated. He called his partner a “very generous and caring man” whom he had fallen in love with. 
Judge Turner declared the Will invalid, meaning that Mr Mendez’s estate would pass to his partner, and even ordering Mr Hughes to pay costs of over £50,000.00 – 85% of Mr Rodrigues’ solicitors fees. The reasons given by the Judge indicated that the Court believed that Mr Mendez must have been more intoxicated than the one pint believed to be in front of him when he signed the new Will, and that they believed that he was past the capacity of understanding the implications of what he was doing. 
So, what can we learn from Mr Mendez’s Will? Well, it’s hard to say what you should do in a situation such as that, but, with the right advice from our Probate solicitors in Preston, you can help make sure that your estate passes to who you want it to. 
It’s worth putting together a letter, outlining reasons behind your decision to exclude a family member or loved one, or, if you do not want to do this, you can let your Probate solicitors in Preston know about the situation, and ask them to keep a record of your reasoning, in case it’s ever required in the future. 
Contact your expert team of Probate solicitors in Preston on 01772 783 314 or email to find out about how we can help you. 
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