The importance of writing a Will
With over half the population in the UK not having made a Will, now more than ever should you consider the benefits of knowing that your final wishes will be respected when the time comes. The peace of mind that this will bring is immeasurable.
A Will does not only make it clear who is to benefit from your estate but it takes away the uncertainty at a time, which, is not only emotional but also very stressful. Many clients take comfort from knowing the wishes of the deceased, which can include their requirements as to their funeral.
It is important to stress that a Will is not just for the elderly or frail. Without a Will your estate may end up being distributed between family members who you do not wish to benefit and/or those you do not even know you are related to whilst leaving those you wish to take care of, out in the cold.
Couples, who are not married to each other, have no automatic right to their partner’s estate. There is no such concept of a ‘common-law husband/wife’ no matter how long you have been together. The longer the relationship the more likely you are to succeed if you make a claim against the deceased’s estate but it will involve a ‘claim’.
Some people think it is easy to make a Will at home without the help of a solicitor but this can be fraught with problems. Many such Wills do not take into account the beneficiaries dying first or who should administer the estate or look after young children if they are left without a parent. Other issues that are often ignored are tax planning and planning for long-term care. Even if all this is accounted for, many homemade Wills are not signed or witnessed properly and the consequences of the Will being lost can be very serious and costly.
Should I use a solicitor to help me with my Will?
Although a Will does not necessarily have to be prepared and witnessed by a solicitor, we would strongly advise it. In addition to covering all eventualities are catered for we can store the original for you to ensure its safekeeping.
Although having a Will does not mean your estate will escape the possibility of a claim by a disappointed beneficiary, it does mean the court will have a clear view of your wishes rather than leaving others to put words in your mouth. A clear record of not only your wishes but also the reasons behind your decision can be invaluable.
Things to consider once you have a Will in place:
One of the most common mistakes is not keeping your Will up to-date. A Will should be reviewed, ideally every three to five years and when any significant lifetime events occur. This will not necessarily mean a change to the Will but a quick review of the current provisions could save a lot of heartache (and money) if things go wrong.
One problem we frequently encounter is that if you get married, any Will you have will be automatically revoked leaving you without a current Will. This may result in children from a previous relationship missing out.
Our Wills and Probate team are at hand to help
Over recent years, Keelys has seen a significant growth in both the volume and complexity of the work that we are called upon to undertake in this area.
We specialise in Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, the creation and administration of Trusts, the administration of estates and tax planning
Even if you are self-isolating we can make arrangements for your Will to be properly executed. You can choose to have this stored safely and securely with us too.
You will find certain information on our charges which may assist you in making an informed choice of solicitor by clicking here or by calling our offices to discuss.
Contact us for more information
COVID-19: We are open for business and here to help. Our office is open and we are seeing clients by appointment or if you prefer we can conduct any meeting by Skype, FaceTime or WhatsApp video. Call us today 01543 420000.