Death is probably not a subject you care to dwell on. For this reason alone, nearly two- thirds of us in the UK put off the apparently onerous task of writing a Will.
While the thought of contemplating your passing and clearly documenting your wishes may be unpleasant, it does prevent much greater upset and distress for your loved ones in the future.
Sadness and grief are inevitable when someone dies, but leaving behind a trail of trauma, unforeseen expense and even family feuds can be avoided if you provide clear and specific instructions to your successors by writing a Will.
If you care about what happens to your estate after you die, you should make a Will. Without one, the state directs who inherits, so your friends, favourite charities and relatives may get nothing.
It is particularly important to make a Will if you are neither married nor in a registered civil partnership. This is because the law does not automatically recognise cohabitants (partners who live together) as having the same rights as husbands, wives and civil partners. As a result, even if you’ve lived together for many years, your cohabitant may be left with nothing if you have not made a Will.
A Will is also vital if you have children or dependants who may not be able to care for themselves. Without a Will there could be uncertainty about who will look after or provide for them if you die.
Once you have had a Will drawn up, some changes to your circumstances such as marriage, civil partnership, separation, divorce or if your civil partnership is dissolved can make all or part of that Will invalid or inadequate. This means that you must review your Will regularly, to reflect any major life changes.
Executors of your Will
You must name the people you want to appoint as ‘executors’ of your Will – the people who will carry out the administration of your Will after your death. These could be friends or family members, a known professional with a sound understanding of financial matters or ideally a combination of both. It is vital you make sure your executors are happy to take on this duty, as there are long-term responsibilities involved, particularly if you include a trust in your Will.
If you have any children who may still be under 18 when you die, you may need to name someone as their legal guardian.
You can give other instructions in your Will, including instructions for your funeral or if you want to make any organ donations. However, it may be that no-one looks at your Will before your funeral, so make sure your executors and family members are aware you have made one.
We will guide you through the Will making process, assess your Inheritance Tax risk and help you plan effectively for the future.
Our qualified Will Writer, Trudi Dickinson, will meet with you to review and update your current Will or write a new Will for you.