Writing a Will is one of the most important personal and financial decisions we make in our lifetimes, yet research regularly suggests that around 50 per cent of UK adults will currently be without a Will.
Failing to make a Will means that you have no control over what happens to your estate (your money, property and other assets) and on your death it will be distributed according the laws of intestacy, which may produce an outcome very different to what you would have wished.
A Will allows you to decide who will benefit from your money, property and possessions when you die. Other important considerations for making a will include:
- You can leave gifts of sentimental or monetary value to your nearest and dearest
- You can specify arrangements for your funeral
- partners who are unmarried or not in a civil partnership cannot inherit from each other unless this is specified in a Will. If one partner dies, this could cause serious financial problems for the other
- if you have young children, a Will allows you to put in place arrangements for their future care if either one or both parents die
- your Will can help you pass on your assets in the most tax-efficient way
- your Will needs to reflect changes in your circumstances. For example, if you have separated and your former spouse or civil partner lives with someone else, you may not wish them to benefit from the automatic inheritance they are entitled to under the laws of intestacy..
IF YOU DO NOT MAKE A WILL
- the law determines who deals with your estate
- the law determines who will benefit from your estate
- your loved ones may not be provided for
- a long-term partner may not have any protection or receive any benefit
- you cannot be certain that the person you want to look after your children will be able to do so
The best way to make a Will is by working with a solicitor. By doing so, you will have peace of mind that you are dealing with a legal professional who Will draft a will that sets out your wishes in a legally compliant and tax-efficient way. You also have the reassurance of knowing they are trained and regulated.
Making a Will is not as expensive as you might think and the modest price you pay will be a worthwhile investment to ensure the people you want to benefit will do so in the way you wish them to. Our Will preparation services include:
- an initial meeting: in this meeting, we can raise issues you might not have considered, such as the possibility of saving inheritance tax, and you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have
- drafting the Will: you will have a chance to amend the draft and ask more questions.
- preparing the completed will: you will sign it in our presence to ensure validity. If this is not possible, we will advise you on how to sign the Will to ensure it is witnessed and valid
- review your Will: we recommend this should happen at least once every five years or so, and more frequently if your circumstances have changed, and you need to make amendments or draft a new Will.