Common Legal Questions: Why is it important to make a Will?
Posted on 5th November 2019
A common misconception, that our Wills and Probate solicitors are doing their best to de-bunk, is that everything will pass to your spouse, or your children, or your best friend on your death. If you want to know all about the Rules of Intestacy, and how your estate would pass without a Will, you can read our team of Wills and Probate Solicitors’ blog, here.
So, what does your Will cover?
Your Will usually covers all of your assets (also referred to as your estate), including:
Property that you own
Savings and Investments that you have made and still have at the date of your death
Any insurance policies
Any pensions that you have (if these are not separately allocated, as with some pension funds)
Any business that you have shares in.
If you die without a valid Will, it may cause issues for your family and loved ones, and it may mean that your estate does not pass to who you want it to.
For example, if you wish to make a charitable donation in your Will, for example to the RSPCA or Breast Cancer UK, or any other charity that you may feel deserves your money, this would not happen if your estate was divided up without a Will. Similarly, if you’re living with a partner but you’re not married, they usually wouldn’t inherit under the Rules of Intestacy, although they may be entitled to make a claim in some circumstances.
It’s especially important to make sure you have a valid Will, our Wills and Probate solicitors’ team in Preston explains, if one of the following applies to you:
You own a business
You own your own property
You have children or grand-children who you wish to provide for
You have a close relative that you want to exclude
You have investments, savings, or an insurance police
How do I make a Will?
Well, for starters, you can find out what information our Wills and Probate solicitors would usually require, here. If you’re happy to complete the information online, go ahead – our team will be back in touch with you within one working day once your enquiry has been submitted. If you’d rather have a face-to-face chat, you can contact our solicitors in Preston, here, or our solicitors in Lancaster, here.
What information what I need to consider for my Will?
Generally, our team would ask you to consider things such as:
Who you would leave your estate to (also called your beneficiaries)
What would happen to your estate, if any of your beneficiaries die before you
Who you would want to appoint as your executors (the people who deal with your estate)
Who you would want to care for your children if they are still minors when you die (also called, the guardians)
Any other wishes you want to include, such as the type of funeral you want, or whether you wish to be cremated
If you’ve got no idea, then don’t worry! Whilst our Wills and Probate team can’t tell you what to put, we can give you some guidance about the sort of wishes you may want to include. Just contact us, here.
Can I draft my own Will?
A lot of people don’t realise that making a Will can be quite complicated. They presume that if they just write a note saying that they are leaving everything to their spouse, or children, this will be sufficient. However, when drafting a Will, it needs to be 100% clear about your wishes, as well as being witnessed correctly and signed properly by you. If it’s not, the issues discussed above could become all too real for your family.
However, that being said, in some cases, when as estate is straight forward, you may be fine to draft your own Will. Our team would suggest, if you have any major assets, such as a business, property that you own, savings, vehicles, or you’re excluding family members (amongst other things), ALWAYS USE A SOLICITOR.
Essentially, it is your choice, however it’s better to take the advice, and make sure your Will is correctly drafted, then to end up with an invalid Will on your death, voiding any gifts and legacies that you leave your loved ones – especially if they’re not your relatives!
MG Legal – Your Local Solicitors
Tagged as: Lasting Powers of Attorney, Living Will, Longridge Solicitors, Solicitors in Preston, Wills and Probate, Your Local Solicitors
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