Before you start why not call our expert team on 0800 056 2015 of Contact us here and we can advise you on what's best for your personal circumstances.
WDS Associates has been awarded the most innovative Law firm for three years running, so you can be sure our name is on that you and your family can trust.
Why do I need a Will?
Without a Will
You cannot be sure that thos you wish to benefit will actually do so.
Your Spouse/civil partner may not automatically inherit ALL of your estate.
'Common Law' partners will not receive anything.
Minor children would be taken into care whilst Guardians are appointed.
There could be lengthy delays for your beneficiaries and disputes.
Do I need a Will?
The vast majority of people put off making a Will for a veriety of reasons, either believing that the people they would wish to inherit will automatically do so, or because they don't think it is relevant to them at this particular time.
The reality is that you can put off making a Will until it is too late and this poses all sorts of problems for the people left behind and could mean that some or all of your inheritance either goes to the wrong person or to the state.
Preparing to make a Will
Before making your Will, consider carfully what you Wish it to contain. The two principal desisions are: first, who should manage your property and distribute your property according to the terms of your Will (your Executors) and second, how you wish your property (i.e. everything you own) to be distributed after your death. Before you make your Will:
List the assets you own.
Decide who is to receive those assets
Make an inventory of your property, whether in your name alone or owned jointly with others.
Then decide how you wish that property to be distributed. You can make gifts of specific property to ;articular people, as well as gifts of sums of money to particular people. Items or money that you do not specifically allocate will form the 'residue' of your estate and must decide who is to receive this.
The law provides that if you make insufficiant provision in your Will for certain classes of person, they may have a claim against your estate. That includes your spouse, cohabitee (of over two years), children or someone who is financially dependent on you. Where this risk exists, you should always consult on of our legal team when your Will is being drafted.
Affording you Peace of Mind
Firstly and most importantly, is the peace of mind that making a Will can provide.
Making a Will enables you to plan exactly what will happen to your property (estate) following your death. This ensures that those you would like to benifit actually do so, in accordance with your wishes and at the same time avoiding any posible disputes between relatives.
Should you require any guidance please do not hesitate to call our expert Associates on 0800 056 2015or contact us
Who needs to make a Will?
The answer is everyone. In particular, anyone with dependant relatives (children under the age of 18, elderly relatives or relatives with a disability who have special needs) and anyone who owns property or has any type of asset which you would wish relatives, friends or charities to benifit from.
But won't everything go to my husband/wife/civil partner/children etc. automatically?
This is a common misconception and dependent on the size of your estate. There are set rules which will be applied to determing who inherits and how much if you do not make a Will.
So what happens if I don't make a Will
This is called having died intestate. There are specific rules of intestacy which set out who will inherit and by how much, if you do not leave a valid Will. This may not be what you would have wished and in the worst case scenarios where relatives cannot be traced, your assets will be taken by the Crown.
Is making a Will difficult?
No. You need to make a list of your property and assets and consider who you wish to benefit from your estate, ensuring provision has been made for dependent relatives. You should also consider who you would want to look after your children (Guardians) if they were still young.
What makes a Will valid?
It should be in writing, appoint someone to carry out the instructions of the Will (an Executor) and dispose of possessions/propertyIt must be signed by the person making the Will (the Testator) or signed on the Testators behalf in his or her presence and by his/her direction. This must be done in the presence of two Witnesses who must sign the Will in the presence of the Testator.
Who can be a Witness?
Is not blind.
Is capable of understanding the nature and effect of what they are doing.
Is aged 18 or over.
A Witness should NOT be:
A beneficiary in the Will.
Married to, or be the civil partner of a Beneficiary
In these circumstances the Will remains a valid and legal document, but the girt to the beneficary cannot be paid.