Although it is not something we like to think about, we are all going to die at some point. Statistics show more than 60% of UK residents die without making a Will even though this should be one of the most important legal priorities. No one can foretell the future and so there is no time like the present.
Wills are not just for the wealthy or elderly but an important way to ensure that, whatever your circumstances, you have the peace of mind knowing your affairs are in order if you die.
Wills are not just about money, although if you add up the total of all your assets (including your house) this may be more than you think. If you have children or step-children under 18, a Will can appoint a Testamentary Guardian to look after them, whereas if you die without a Will, where your children live is out of your control.
Other reasons to make a Will include:-
If you die without a Will it can result in your assets going to the Treasury rather than desired beneficiaries
Unmarried partners cannot inherit from each other unless there is a Will. The death of one partner may cause financial problems for the other and any children of the relationship
It may be possible to reduce the amount of tax payable on death if advice is taken when making a Will
You can set out your wishes for your remains be this cremation, burial or medical research
You can make sure a family business stays in the family and passes to those of your choosing
If you divorce any existing Will would be interpreted as if references to your spouse were deleted. Therefore, if the Will made before a divorce leaves everything to your now ex-spouse, the reality is you do not have a Will at all
Wills should be renewed at least every five years to ensure the contents still comply with your wishes and adequately meet your needs. Wills should be updated every time there is a significant change to your assets, such as getting married, buying or selling property or the birth of children.
A Will is a legal document and there are pitfalls and mistakes which are easy to make and can render a Will invalid. Having a Will drawn up by a Solicitor is much better than drawing up your own or using a pre-printed Will form.
A Will drawn by a Solicitor is not expensive. The fees below are exclusive of VAT and the exact charges will be confirmed before any work is undertaken. The cost will depend on the complexity of your Estate and the requirements to effect your wishes.
Wills Costs Examples:-
Drafting a straightforward Will for an individual (eg leaving everything divided equally to relations and/or charity) £175
Drafting straightforward Wills for a couple (eg leaving everything to each other and then to the children) £250
Wills incorporating tax planning or a Discretionary Trust on application
A Codicil making a change to a Will £80
Each change by a Codicil thereafter £40