Probate and Cancer
Cancer no matter how developed or advanced, endangers the lives of those it afflicts. Of the many people who die each year from cancer, a very large percentage have made no will or administrative arrangements over their death.
Of course, undertaking such administration is never pleasant. Having even to consider these arrangements can feel like a negative thing to do or even an admission of defeat. In our experience however, the reverse is true. Most people, we have found, feel a great sense of preparedness and find themselves more able to cope with low feelings or intrusive thoughts after they have prepared a will and made appropriate arrangements.
There is something reassuringly sensible about putting ones affairs in order. Doing so can actually help to achieve a renewed sense of vigour and Appleby’s want to first and foremost assist in this regard for everyone who opens a case with us.
Every cancer sufferer who doesn’t have a will or whose will is very old has the opportunity to undertake a fresh or new will with us completely free of charge.
This will, is set out as a very basic document, it is there as a simple but legally sound template for clients and we will ensure that it is completed for you in the first weeks of your action. The document once completed is subject to verification by a specialist probate solicitor and s/he will authorise the will to be released to you for you to sign and have witnessed yourself. Once this has been done it will be reviewed again and a copy held for you both on your file and in our wills archive.
If you have specialist questions regarding issues of inheritance planning, tax or asset preservation then we can make an appointment separately for you to see our specialist probate Solicitor*. It may be that you require a more formal and detailed will that can be constructed with regard to these provisions and such this will be beyond the remit of our free will arrangement, however, in the early stages at least, it will mean that you will have an interim positon that will protect you from the laws of intestacy. A more detailed will can be discussed with you if you wish to make more detailed arrangements.
You may wonder why a will is of any consequence, particularly if you have few or no assets. Well if you are making a claim for misdiagnosis or delay in diagnosis and your cancer does prove to be terminal, there may be a claim for future lost earnings from your dependants. This may mean, particularly if you are relatively young, that your family are entitled to your salary payment and pension payments that they would have received had your cancer been detected and treated appropriately – giving you a normal lifespan.
These “future damages” figures can be very high indeed. Additionally, if you have no will there is no appointed executor who can take control of the action should you be unable to; which may mean that your claim might be interrupted after death and any benefits from the action may be lost if your family are not emotionally capable of seeing the action through. Nominating an executor now may ease this transition and can mean that someone else can make the decisions on your action if you are unable to.
Appleby’s specialist team are experts in cancer actions and we have a specialist solicitors not just in our clinical negligence team but also in areas such as family law, employment and wills and probate departments. We offer a unique service to clients in that our understanding of your positon (both personal and financial), your treatment and the demands of the condition on you physically and mentally is far more advanced than other firms and as such we organise our work so that the majority of the administrative tasks of your action are dealt with at the outset when you are strongest.
Don’t go through this alone. Let us stand with you.
*if you need specialist advice regarding inheritance planning or trusts then we may quote you for this work, it falls outside of the normal cancer units remit.