Making a Will
How can a Will help?
You must make a Will if you want to be certain that your property and possessions pass to your desired beneficiaries.
A will also guarantees that your children will be looked after by a trusted guardian in the event of your death. And you can name carefully chosen executors to administer your estate – thereby protecting your hard-earned assets for those people and causes that matter most to you.
What happens if I don’t have a Will?
The Rules of Intestacy will determine who inherits your assets, and since these were drawn up in 1925, they are quite restrictive. Only spouses, civil partners, biological children and blood relations can be beneficiaries according to the guidelines, meaning anyone not falling into one of these categories that you may have wanted to leave your assets to will not be eligible. This includes charitable organisations and pets.
If you don’t have a Will, you will also not be able to appoint a guardian for your children in the event of your death. If this happens, a guardian will be appointed by the Court. However, as this may take some time, your children could be temporarily placed in state care.
The importance of a professionally written Will
There are many do-it-yourself Will forms available. However, it’s all too easy to make mistakes when writing a Will, particularly if you are not experienced. It’s vital to get it right the first time, because resolving any errors or disputes after your death could incur considerable cost.
Having a solicitor prepare or check your Will ensures that your instructions will be carried out as requested upon your death. This is especially important for the care of dependent children or when complex familial circumstances are involved.
The importance of keeping a Will up to date
Many of us write a Will when we experience significant milestones, such buying our first house, or having a child.
But to make sure that all of your current assets are covered, and that additional children or grandchildren are included as beneficiaries, it’s important to update your Will whenever things change in your life, whether it’s a growing family or a growing property portfolio.
It’s worth remembering, too, that certain life changes, like getting married or divorced, mean all previous Wills are revoked, so you will need to prepare a new version.
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