In this modern age of complex financial affairs, extended families and increased litigation, making a Will has never been more important. However, over two-thirds of people in the UK don’t have a Will.
From Dickens to soap operas, stories of Wills making and breaking families have gripped many but it seems that when it comes to getting our own affairs in order, many of us suffer from ostrich syndrome.
Only 3 in 10 people in the UK have a Will. So what is it that puts people off?
For most people, what happens to their property and family when they die is a matter of great importance but some fear making a Will as if to do so would somehow tempt providence. More commonly, people don’t have a Will simply because they have just not got round to it.
Here are my 10 top tips on making a Will:-
1. Making an appointment to see your solicitor does not mean you are about to die!
2. A Will lets you leave clear instructions about how your estate is to be distributed. Without one, it is subject to the “Intestacy Rules” and may not go to the people you would have chosen;
3. A Will lets you choose your own Executors;
4. A Will lets you appoint guardians to look after your children if they are under 18. You can also make financial arrangements for their benefit;
5. If you have re-married, a Will can provide for your spouse and ensure that any children from your first marriage get a share of your estate;
6. Wills can save tax and protect assets from the potential costs of long-term care;
7. Wills can create trusts to protect beneficiaries (e.g. disabled or vulnerable beneficiaries) and assets (e.g. farms and family businesses);
8. Ask your solicitor about fees and the related services your solicitor can provide for you. Usually, Wills are charged at a fixed fee and not an hourly rate. Your solicitor will also usually store your Will & deeds, free of charge. Most solicitors can also offer free Will registration and free home or work visits.
9. Remember to choose a qualified solicitor. Will Writers are not regulated and leave clients with little means of redress should things go wrong. Make sure your affairs are in safe hands.
10. Put your signed Will in a drawer and concentrate on living!
This article was very kindly written and provided by Lynette Viney-Passig of Swayne Johnson Solicitors.