Astonishingly, 55% of UK adults do not have a Will. This means that over half of the population have not safeguarded their future wishes.
Why do you need a Will?
Without a Will you would not have a choice about what happens to your estate when you die. Instead, it has to follow a set of rules originally established in 1925. However, changing patterns of family life – for example, cohabiting couples who are not married and second families – mean that loved ones who you wish to be a beneficiary might lose out. Complex family structures mean it is even more important to have a valid Will in place to ensure your wishes are met and to prevent estranged family members from potentially having a claim to part of your estate.
By preparing a Will, you may ensure that your choice of children are provided for. For example, if you have step-children, they would not receive anything unless you have made provision for them in your Will.
You may wish to leave something to charity, to friends or to others. Perhaps you’d like to record details, such as personal possessions allocated to individuals and your preferred funeral arrangements.
Over time, your circumstances may change, and you should review your Will regularly to ensure it still reflects your wishes.
Which big life events should you update your Will for…
- Getting married – any existing Wills are revoked when you marry in England and Wales (not Scotland).
- Getting divorced – your married Will isn’t automatically revoked but your exes won’t benefit in England or Wales.
- Having children or grandchildren (and step-children) – you may want to include them as beneficiaries.
- Buying a house – especially when downsizing or starting to live with someone else.
- Coming into some money – say who you want to leave it to.
- Losing a loved one – you may need to update a beneficiary or executor.
If you already have a Will, you may not need to write a new one in every case. If only small, straightforward changes are required you can add an edit called a ‘Codicil’.
If your Will needs changing considerably, you’ll probably need to start again. You will need to clearly state that any previous older Wills or Codicils are revoked and destroy any previous versions you possess. It is also important to let your executor know where your new Will is being stored, so they know where to find it when the time comes.
Services from legalmatters during Covid-19 pandemic
Here at legalmatters, we continue to do everything we possibly can to service our existing and new clients during these very difficult times.
Our ability to provide remote services makes us stand out from the crowd. This means that you can deal with your Will, Power of Attorney, Probate, Trust and Tax advice, Conveyancing and legal services for Business Owners, all over the phone, video conference or by email and documents are sent to you by post. We are also advising our clients on signature processes bearing in mind social distancing measures.
Meanwhile, the office continues to operate with minimal skeleton staff for the protection of our staff, clients and visitors, enabling us to still process physical documents for our clients. If you do find that you need to call into the office for instance to have documents witnessed when it is otherwise difficult for you to arrange that with family and friends then do please get in touch.
If you would like to speak to one of our expert Will writers, ring us on 01243 216900 or email us at email@example.com.