January 9, 2020
We participated in Solicitors Chat on Twitter answering questions about New Years resolution and how making a Will should be a top priority of 2020 – New Year, New Will.
Janine Guthrie from our Private Client department were on hand to provide some much needed guidance.
We’ve set out our answers out below:
1. Talk us through the process of making a Will and how a solicitor can help.
In order to create a Will, you should think about a variety of important factors. Such as:
- What are your assets? This includes your property, savings, investments, foreign property, business assets etc. You should consider who you would want these assets to pass to in the event of your death.
- You should consider factors such as; would your spouse be likely to remarry; are there children from previous relationships; do you want to disinherit a particular beneficiary and if so, what right would they have to challenge your Will?
- Who would you want to appoint as your Executors and Trustees? If you have children under 18 you should think about how you would appoint as Guardians.
- Consider your Inheritance Tax position and take this time to ensure all your financial matters are in order such as your life insurance and pension.
- Think about drawing up a Lasting Power of Attorney should you be unable to manage your own affairs, then people you choose to appoint can manage them for you in your best interests.
2. What could happen to your estate if you die without a valid Will in place?
It is believed that 1 in 3 people die without ever having made a Will. If you do not have a valid Will in place, you will have no control over who inherits your estate. There are rules that deal with your assets if you die without a Will and these are called Intestacy Rules.
If you care about who inherits your estate and you want inner piece of mind then you should update your Will.
3. What are the risks of using a DIY Wills kit or an unregulated service?
Using a professional to draft or update your Will is important as they are legally trained, their expertise is regularly updated and can ensure you receive the best advice possible. If you use a DIY Will or unregulated service you could potentially open yourself up to an incorrectly drafted Will which could end up being invalid.
Although, a DIY Will may seem more attractive in being a cheaper option it could end up leaving you with a financial burden and the possibility that your Will may not even be valid.
4. Why is it important for everyone, no matter their age, to consider making or updating their Will?
Many people think that a Will is for older people, but that’s not true. Once you turn 18 you should consider making a Will. You should consider updating your Will to reflect your new circumstances when you go through certain life events. For instance, Getting Married, Buying a Home, Getting a Divorce or Having Children. These are some examples of when it is vital to update or create a Will.
Making a Will ensures that your dependents are cared for in the event of your death and that your assets are allocated to the right people as indicated by your Will.
5. Why is the New Year a good time to make or update your Will?
The New Year is a perfect time for people to evaluate their finances and personal circumstances and get organised. You may have had some significant changes to your circumstances in the latter year and it is important that your Will is reviewed to check it is still an accurate reflection of your wishes. However, it is important to consider making a Will at any time of the year!
Why not make it your New Years resolution to create or update your Will? Speak to one of our Specialist Lawyers who can talk you through the steps of creating a Will. Call us on 01452 222445 to book an initial consultation.