Our Expert Will Drafting Solicitors Explain Why It’s Never Too Soon To Make A Will
Posted on 9th December 2020
The older that you get, the more you are probably planning for later in life. Whether you’re thinking of selling the family home and moving to a cottage in the countryside, or cruising around the World, you should also be thinking about planning what to do with your money in case things do not go as planned. What would happen if you ended up in care? Would you be able to afford this? Have you made a Will? Who would take care of your family or pets?
If you haven’t had chance to consider an answer to all of these questions yet, you can rest assured that you are not alone. The majority of the people our local solicitors for Wills see, don’t have answers to any questions when they first approach us. Afterall, it’s not necessarily the topic that people want to consider unless they actually have to.
When considering what you want to do with your future, there are some important things that you should think about preparing for:-
1. If you are co-habiting, what would happen if your partner died?
The answer to this question may be simple. You may have Wills already in place that leave everything to each other, or make sure that the survivor can continue to live in your property for a set amount of time or for their lifetime. Alternatively, every asset that you have may be held in joint names, so – in theory – they pass to the survivor of you when one dies.
However, if you do not have any provisions in place, or even if you think that you do, it is always a good idea to think about what would happen if one of you dies. You may wish to consider putting in place Wills or updating your Wills if they no longer meet your requirements.
In your Will, you could stipulate that everything passes to each other, or you could leave gifts to other people, and then other assets to each other. Our expert Will drafters will be able to discuss your options with you, and how these can work to ensure that you are able to provide for each other.
You may wonder what would happen if you do not make a Will. Well, if you have any assets in your sole name, your partner would have no automatic right to these. Instead, they would pass under the Rules of Intestacy – which is to family, such as children, parents, grandparents or siblings.
So, if you and your partner live in a house in your sole name, and then you die, they would have no automatic right to carry on living there. In addition, if they had contributed financially to the house, such as by putting money towards the deposit or by paying for renovations, they would have no right to this money back automatically. To deal with what they are owed, they may have to consider making a claim against your Estate, which can be a lengthy and costly process.
2. If you have minor children, who would care for them?
It’s never nice to consider what would happen to your children if you died whilst they are still minors. However, it’s definitely something that you should consider.
If your children have a person who has survived you with legal parental responsibility, such as their other parent, they would usually be cared for by them. However, if everyone with parental responsibility has predeceased you, you make wish to make provisions for who your children should be cared for by.
You can stipulate that a certain relative cares for the children, or you may wish to appoint a friend. In addition, you may also want to consider including wishes for how your children should be cared for, which our expert Will drafters would usually recommend including in a separate letter to be placed with your final Will.
3. Who will look after your pets?
Our local solicitors in Garstang and Preston are often asked to consider pets. Who would care for any pets that you have when you die? Again, this could be a family member or friend. This is definitely a provision that more people are including in their Wills.
One option would be to contact local charities who care for pets, and find out whether you can register your pet now to be cared for after you have died.
A further thing to think about would be whether you want to make any financial provision for the person to use towards the costs of caring for your pet.
Now, there are obviously more thinks that you may need to consider preparing for, which will depend on the circumstances of your life. However, the above are common occurrences that may lead people to consider making a Will.
If you already have a Will in place, if your circumstances change, for example, if you have a child, or a person named in your Will dies, you may want to revisit your current Will and see whether it needs to be updated.
Based on the questions above, it’s safe to assume that there is no specific age for making a Will, as long as you’re over the age of 18 (the legal age for making a Will, unless you fall into a specific category set out under section 11 of the Wills Act 1837). If you are experiencing any changes in your life, such as acquiring property or you are expecting a child, it’s important to considering making or reviewing your Will.
Contact your local expert Will Drafters at MG Legal
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