Why make a Will ?

Grieving

Many people are quick to say “I must make a will” but it is one of those things that tends to remain on the to do list probably because we don’t appreciate how important it is.

There are many reasons why it is the right thing to do including:- 

  • If you have children but no guardians appointed, a court will decide who looks after them. 
  • If you are not formally married, your partner may receive nothing from your estate.
  • If you and your spouse separate or divorce then anything you leave to them may go to a new partner rather than to your children.
  • You may want to provide for pets, donate money to charities or make special individual gifts to specific people.
  • You want certainty.   

Making a simple will is one thing but it may be an opportunity for more careful estate planning that preserves assets. 

You might need to set up a trust to create a chain of ownership or entitlement to a precious belonging.  You might want to ensure that the family home does not have to be sold to pay for care home fees.

And then there’s the taxman to consider!  Sensible tax planning is perfectly legitimate and can preserve huge sums of money.  We were able to save one couple, who had worked all their lives to build up a successful business, an estimated £400,000 potential liability to inheritance tax.

We hear that people are often put off by the cost of using a solicitor to make a will.  We tend to think our own affairs are always very simple and don’t need any specialist attention.

People sometimes tell us that they can buy a form or a package and do it themselves for a few tens of pounds.  Alternatively, there are will writers who specialize and can charge less because unlike solicitors, they don’t carry the cost of professional membership, regulation and indemnity insurance. 

Those people take a greater risk, as the attached list of examples gathered during the Law Society survey in 2010 demonstrates. Solicitors have for a number of years been calling for regulation in this sector - not to exclude the cheap alternatives but to create a level playing field, safe for consumers – but following the latest campaign, the Ministry of Justice announced in November 2013 that it would still not regulate.

But don't just take our word for it - watch what Paul Lewis of BBC Radio's Moneybox has to say about making a will:

 

So play it safe with your worldly goods and for expert, professional advice and personal service at a sensible price email our Estate Administration Team or telephone us on 01460 200450.