As we all feel the pressures of rising costs, it is easy to forget the importance of ensuring that our families are provided for, should something happen to us.
Wills are probably one of the most important documents we make, the contents of which have a huge impact on the financial stability of our loved ones in the future.
It is not difficult to imagine the impact of not having a Will. The law dictates how our estate is divided and this may not be our wishes, especially if we are living with a partner, remarried or wanting to provide for other people who are important in our lives.
Are DIY Wills worth the paper they are written on? Have your circumstances considerably changed since your last Will and does it accurately reflect your current wishes? Have you fully understood and taken into account the tax implications? Have you considered the long-term effect of your decisions on your family?
The impact on loved ones in these situations could be that they do not receive what you intended, or you may be impacting on their estate with tax implications which you had not realised.
The execution of your Will is also very important. There are many cases where difficulties have been caused by an undated Will or where Wills have been executed incorrectly and a beneficiary has lost their entitlement, or even where a Will has been deemed invalid and the rules of intestacy have applied.
Expensive litigation costs can be avoided by ensuring that professional advice is sought from the outset.
It is essential that whoever prepares your Will is suitably qualified. At BakerLaw, we have qualified members of staff who will meet to discuss your circumstances, ensure that you fully understand the options and the tax implications and draft your Will to meet your requirements. Our team are members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), which is the leading worldwide professional body for the most experienced and senior practitioners in the fields of trusts, estates and related issues. Our team are also fully accredited members of Solicitors for the Elderly, an independent national organisation of lawyers with a wealth of experience working for older and vulnerable clients.
You may also like to take advice in respect of Lasting Powers of Attorney so that you make the choice as to who will be dealing with both your financial affairs and welfare decisions should you be unable to deal with them yourself. If you do not do this then it will be up to the Court to decide on your behalf and this procedure can be costly and time consuming. Acting now can protect you and your family in the future.
If you would like to discuss creating a Will, please contact our private client team on 01252 907829.
This article is not a definitive statement of the law. It is designed as a free update on the law at the time of publishing. It is not a substitute for legal advice on specific facts and circumstances. BakerLaw LLP and/or the writer accepts no liability or responsibility for reliance on this article and recommends that you seek independent legal advice on your specific circumstances prior to taking any steps.