Writing a Will seems to be a task that is often left for tomorrow to complete, the perception generally is that thinking about, and planning for the future after your eventual death is difficult, not to mention morbid. Beginning the process of writing a Will, at first, is shrouded with confusion, with many people struggling to know what to do and who to talk to, but it is something that is undeniably worth doing, as the implications arising from the absence of a Will create distress for the close relatives that you leave behind.
By expressing your intention towards the distribution of your assets, you are avoiding the decision to be left in the hands of the state, who may make a decision for you that you and your family do not agree with. Extending far beyond just tangible assets, it is important as decisions may be taken for you for the welfare of your children. We wish to give you all of the information that you need, along with the repercussions, to make a decision around you and your family’s future, and hopefully save you some money along the way.
The benefits of having a Will
Firstly, by having your Will written, you are placed in control of all of the decisions involving your finances and the guardianship of loved ones. It is known that rights are vested in a birth certificate regarding parental rights, the mother receiving automatic parental responsibility alongside the father named on the birth certificate, or married to the mother at the time of birth. If the unfortunate event was to occur where no parent with the required parental responsibility was to survive you, the decision around the care of your child or children, is made for you. It is paramount that you can make this decision ensuring their safety and security.
By writing your Will, you also have the choice around who you wish to execute your wishes, ensuring that this power is given to someone who has your complete trust. It is recommended that you discuss this with them before doing so.
Having your Will in place provides you with peace of mind and when the time does eventually come, your wishes shall be carefully satisfied by a professional, a family member, or a close friend. The modern-day will extends so far as to encompass matters beyond your financial assets and child-care wishes, it encompasses your decisions around your funeral. You have the freedom of expressing where you wish to act as your final resting place, from having your ashes sprinkled in your favourite place, to being eternally transformed into jewellery.
The consequences of not writing a Will
In the event of you passing away without a valid Will, the laws of intestacy will be implemented. This is the legal way of saying that a set of pre-existing rules would be used to distribute your possessions and the future care of your children or loved ones. This decision is taken by the court, who as a separate body to you and your circumstances, may make decisions that cause a huge amount of distress and upset to your family.
Alongside this, it is important to state that the law does not recognise unmarried couples, therefore your significant other will not be entitled to anything. And if you are married, the law can set limits financially on the amount that your partner receives, potentially leaving them in a circumstance where they retain the property, but do not have the means to continue living there.
Who can make a will?
As set out in the law, any individual who is over the age of 18 has the right to make their own Will. There are exclusions to this however, for example, the person writing the Will needs to know they are writing a Will, and have the mental capacity to do so. It is necessary that they know the persons who are subject to the Will (beneficiaries). Another requirement is that any executors of the Will know that they are included, and where to obtain it from.
Do I need another Will if I already have one?
Over the years, your circumstances may change. It is important that any wishes in your Will are up-to-date to avoid potentially giving assets to a person you no longer wish to benefit from your Will. In this situation, we believe you may find it easier to create a new Will and update any previous instructions to show your current intention.
We will ensure that all our Wills include a revocation clause, this means that all previous versions of your Will shall be void, and help to remove any unnecessary confusion.
So, what now?
Nobody can predict when unexpected events will occur, but to provide you and your family with that added security and peace of mind why not have a Will in place ready for the inevitable. Start by submitting your enquiry to us, either by phone call or email, and we will be more than happy to provide the relevant assistance, in a clear, accessible manner.