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Unfortunately, although you may have given very clear instructions to family,
friends and loved ones, unless you have a valid Will in place that documents these
instructions then you are said to have died intestate.This is a technical term that
means you have died without a Will and therefore your estate will be distributed
according to a strict process called the Rules of Intestacy.
Estates distributed according to the Rules of Intestacy can often lead to people
sharing in your assets who you wouldn’t want to inherit and worse still, people you
wanted to inherit, missing out altogether.
To ensure your hard earned assets go where you want them to, you need to have a
valid Will in place.
My friends and family already know what I want to
happen so I don’t need to make a Will do I?
You may be young and healthy and without children, but you still need to spell
out your wishes in case you die or can’t make medical decisions for yourself.
Instructing a specialist to create a Will is simple, yet most people die without
one, meaning sometimes the courts have to step in and distribute their assets
according to the law, not necessarily how the deceased may have wanted. This all
takes time and unnecessary expense.
Drawing up a Will,Powers of Attorney and Living Wills can be one of the best gifts you
can give to your family and friends.When you can’t speak for yourself you want to make
sure your medical and financial wishes are honoured.Producing these documents is a
very selfless act that makes life so much easier for those you leave behind.
Do I need a Will or anything else if I have no
children or if I am single?
The Laws of Intestacy are complicated. If you die without making a Will you could
leave a huge burden of legal, financial and tax problems for your family.
Without a valid Will even your husband or wife may not actually inherit all your
assets. Unmarried couples may assume that, because they’ve been in a committed
relationship for a long time, the court will give preference to their partner.They
overlook the fact that unmarried partners and partners in an unregistered 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.
Furthermore, PARENTS often think because they have discussed the care of their
children with friends or family that the guardianship of their children is in place
should both of them die.This is not the case unfortunately and guardians may have
to be appointed by the court.The people selected to care for your children may then
not be the ones you would have chosen yourselves.
Unless your wishes are in writing in a Will they have no legal effect.
My Spouse or Partner will inherit
everything anyway, won’t they?
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It is true that some establishments will produce Wills without charging for them. Is
this a genuinely free offer or are there some drawbacks?
Typically, the Wills that are drafted are incredibly simple and are written without
providing any advice. In some cases, there may be fees payable on death that may
not have been made absolutely clear when you gave your instructions.
We will explain the whole process to you from start to finish and our qualified
estate planners will provide advice throughout your consultation, allowing you to
make the best and fully informed decisions that you can. We will not produce a Will
for you, until you are absolutely satisfied.
It is also true that you could try to write your own Will.You can even buy templates
from High Street shops.This can be very risky as the simplest of mistakes can render
the document invalid; you will receive no advice and you will have no recourse if
you do make any errors.All our work is fully insured and we have over ten years
experience of producing Wills for our clients so you can be confident that you will
receive a quality, fully advised and insured service. In other words, we take all the
responsibility for making sure your wishes are documented correctly.
Why take the chance? Unless you are a qualified Will writer, we highly recommend
you take specialist advice.
It’s excellent news that you already have a Will in place. It is important, however, that
this document is reviewed on a regular basis and kept up to date.As a simple Will
health check, please have a look at the following questions:
• Have you or your partner changed your name?
• Has your relationship status changed?
• Have you had any children or adopted a child?
• Are all your children now over the age of 18?
• Do you wish to change any of the people appointed as Guardians, Executors and
are their addresses correct?
• Are all the beneficiaries named in your Will alive, do you wish to change any of
• Do you wish to add any further beneficiaries i.e. grandchildren, family,
friends or a charity?
• Legislation affecting Wills was changed in October 2007.Was your Will written
before this date?
• Do any cash gifts need updating?
• Do you want to guarantee your children will inherit no matter what your spouse/
partner may do following your death, i.e. marry, remarry or cohabit?
• Do you want or require inheritance tax planning?
If you answered“Yes”to any of these questions,then it would be prudent to review your
Will as soon as possible. It is also important that you check your Will has been signed
and witnessed correctly.....and that you and your executors know where it is kept.
I can get a free Will through my bank or my union.
I could even write one myself so why should I pay
you for one?
I have a Will already, won’t that do?