There are many reasons for having your Will drawn up by a Solicitor. Here are 5 of our top reasons.
- Top of our list, making your Will is one of the most important things you’ll ever do.
Without a Will, how will you get to say who inherits your assets? For instance, without a Will, and where there are no known heirs, your estate will be passed to the Government. This could include property, money and personal possessions. Where there are relatives, under the UK’s inheritance laws (Rules of Intestacy), people who are blood relatives could be entitled to a share of your estate. Even distant relations could be in for a windfall. And partners may not recognised if you were not married or in a civil partnership. Neither are stepchildren.
- The need for clarity
So you’ve sensibly decided to draw up your Will. But if you’re thinking of creating a handwritten Will, then think very carefully about it. There are various legal requirements for a handwritten Will (also known as a ‘holograph’ Will).
For instance, it must be signed by the Testator (the person making the Will) in the presence of two witnesses. These witnesses must also sign the Will in the presence of the Testator. Furthermore, the Testator must understand that in doing this, they are creating a Will. So it needs to be a clear and final expression of intention about where assets should go upon your death.
That’s not always as easy as it sounds…
- Mind your language
For the Will to be legal, the correct language and terminology needs to be used. What might seem obvious to you might not be evident in the eyes of the law. And if you do it yourself, you’ll not know that until it’s too late, when the Will gets read, after your death.
Which leads us on to…
- Avoiding Disputed Wills
You don’t want your Will to be disputed after you die. But there are some common instances that lead to a Will being challenged:
- Changing family structures which often include unmarried couples living together and second families
- An ageing population and the increased risk of mental health and dementia
- Rising property values resulting in a growing number of estates worth contesting
- An increase in the number of people leaving money to charities.
A Will can be overruled following a challenge. Whether it is or it is not overturned, such disagreements about inheritance are usually devastating for those left behind, and often very expensive to resolve.
A carefully drafted Will would avoid this heartache…
- And finally, that most hated penalty, Inheritance tax
When you make a Will you’ll want to make sure that your beneficiaries don’t pay any more Inheritance Tax than they have to.
There are many ways to limit your liability, but unless you are an expert in this area, your beneficiaries could end up paying the taxman far more than is necessary.
Advice on how to distribute your assets in your Will can make the most of allowances and protect any vulnerable beneficiaries…
Talk to us about your Will. We are experts and can help you through the process. Call us on 01243 216900 or email us at email@example.com.