Why it is important to make a will?
It is important for you to make a will whether or not you consider you have many possessions or much money. People put off making a will as they don’t often see it as something that is necessary. Unfortunately, they sometimes leave things too late and this can cause serious problems for your family and loved ones. It is vital that you set out your wishes clearly as it is becoming increasingly common for peoples estates to be disputed following a death.
- If you die without a will, there are certain rules which dictate how much money, property or possessions should be allocated. This may not be the way that you would have wished your money and possessions to be distributed
- Unmarried partners and partners who have not registered a civil partnership cannot inherit from each other unless there is a will, so the death of one partner may create serious financial problems for the remaining partner
- If you have children, you will need to make a will so that arrangements for the children can be made if either one or both parents die
- It may be possible to reduce the amount of tax payable on your estate if advice is taken in advance and before a will is made
- Marriage – any future marriage or civil partnership will revoke an existing will
- If your circumstances have changed, it is important that you make a will to ensure that your money and possessions are distributed according to your wishes. For example, if you have separated/divorced/remarried/widowed, you may want to change a will.
Why should I choose Dixon Rigby Keogh Solicitors?
It is advisable to use a solicitor or have a solicitor check over a will you have drafted yourself as there may be factors which you have not considered which could have serious consequences for the distribution of your estate following your death. It is easy to make mistakes and sorting these out following your death can result in considerable legal costs which will reduce the amount of money in your estate.
We at DRK will provide a thorough check of your personal circumstances to ensure your wishes are carried out and that all of your money and property is accounted for, that the formal requirements to make the will legally valid are executed, ensure that you have considered all eventualities (such as a beneficiary dying during your lifetime), ensure you are aware of how circumstances can affect the validity of your will and advise on issues such as your dependants ability to challenge your will.
There are of course situations where it is particularly advisable to use a solicitor, such as:
- Where you share a property with somebody who is not your wife, husband or civil partner
- You wish to make provision for a dependant who is unable to care for themselves
- There a several family members who may make a claim on the will, for example, a second wife or children from a first marriage
- Your permanent home is not in the UK or you own property over seas
- There is a business involved
Things to consider before making an appointment to see a solicitor
Before making an appointment, it is worth considering the following:
- Estate – How much money and what property and possessions you have, such as property, savings, occupational and personal pensions, insurance policies, bank and building society accounts, shares
- Beneficiaries – Whom you wish to benefit from your will. You should make a list of all the people you wish to leave money or possessions (beneficiaries). You may also want to consider whether you wish to leave any money to a particular charity.
- Appointment of Guardians -Who should look after any children under the age of 18
- Executors – Who is going to sort out your estate and carry out your wishes as set out in your will? These can be either family members, friends or a professional such as a solicitor