April 24, 2020
When you decide to make a will, you can choose a DIY will or, for a more complex situation, you may decide that professional advice is needed. To arrange this legal document, you will need to go to an authorised and regulated solicitor. Here are some very good reasons as to why making a will is important.
If you have children or stepchildren then arrangements have to be made so that they can benefit if one or both parents die. If they are under 18 you can also appoint their guardians. If you are separated but have not divorced your ex-partner, they will be able to claim from your estate.
Unmarried partners are not entitled to anything from your estate unless it is specified in your will, no matter how long you have been together. By making a will, you are stipulating how your estate will be distributed when you die.
If you die without making a will, the people that you most wanted to have a share of your money or your possessions may not get anything. As you can see above, this applies to situations such as unmarried partners and partners who have not registered into a civil partnership. This alone is a good enough reason to ensure you write your will and keep it updated.
Without a will you will die intestate and your estate will be divided under the rules of intestacy. This means you have left no control over your estate and someone else will now decide how your estate is divided. A surviving spouse or civil partner, surviving children and other relatives can inherit from your estate.
You may have more than you think when you total up your property. It isn’t calculated solely on the house you own, but will include your money and all of your possessions. A lot of people are surprised at the total sum of their wealth.
You need to include who you want to benefit from your estate and exactly what you would like them to receive. These are known as beneficiaries. You need to protect your partner if you are not married and to provide for your dependents.
Ensure you safeguard your family home if it’s in your name only and you’re not married. Making your wishes clear at this point will stop any family disputes later on.
If you wished, you could also leave money to a registered charity in your will.
An executor is someone you choose to be responsible for the administration of your estate. Executors alsomake sure your wishes are met and that any outgoings from your estate are paid to the correct people. You can choose multiple executors if you wish, you are not limited to one.
These are normally family members or friends, solicitors or accountants. This job has a great responsibility so always ask the person who you would like to appoint first to see if they will agree to take this on when anything happens to you.
In order for a will to be valid, it must have been written by a person who is of sound mind and made without any pressure from any other person. The will must be signed by you and two other witnesses in your presence and both of them have to be in the room at the time when you sign it.
This is a necessity because this is what makes the document legally binding. Ensure you date the document too because you may make another later, and the dates will confirm the most recent.
Your witnesses must not benefit from your will as this could make it invalid. Once this has been done your will is complete. It can then be kept in a safe place at home, with a solicitor or at your bank but remember to let your executor know where it is being kept.
When taking out your Funeral Plan, we strongly recommend that you also make a will at the same time. As with planning a funeral in advance, making a will takes a lot of the stress away from your family.