What are the things to consider when making your will?
SANDY KAUR >
SolicitorMon 18 March 2019
When you decide to make a Will, you want to get it right. You want to make sure that your loved ones are taken care of and there is no confusion over what you may have wanted for them.
So, how can you ensure your Will works in the way you need it to?
Wills Expert Sandy Kaur outlines her top tips:
1. Understand what happens if you don’t make a Will
You may think that making a Will is something on your to-do list that you will get around to one day but do you know the implications of dying without a Will? If you die without a will – called dying intestate – the intestacy rules determine who inherits what, which means your loved ones could miss out and a large chunk of your estate could go to the taxman. If you live with a partner but are not married or in a civil partnership, and do not leave a will, your assets will pass automatically to the closest blood relatives – often children, parents or siblings. Whether you are single, cohabiting, married or divorced, you need a Will to ensure that your assets are distributed in accordance with your wishes.
2. Choose executors
Executors are responsible for exercising your estate in accordance with your instructions after you have died. It is only natural that you would like your spouse to be an executor but what would happen if you died together? I always recommend clients appoint a default or substitute executor in the event that their spouse is unable to act on their behalf. Being an executor is a demanding task with a lot of responsibility, who can you trust to carry this out?
3. Appoint guardians for your children
Have you thought about what would happen to your children if both of his/her parents died? If you are the last living parent and you die leaving a child under the age of 18, a guardian will be appointed by the court if you haven’t made a Will. Appointing your own guardian - and make sure you speak to them about this before you make your Will – ensures that everyone is aware of your wishes when it comes to your children. Unmarried couples should appoint each other as guardians in their wills.
4. Making the Will
A Will shouldn’t be rushed. You need to take the time to think about your affairs. Talk to your family. Think about what a future may look like without you in it. How could you make life easier for the ones you will be leaving behind? Who would you like to leave what to? Be as clear as you can to avoid feuds and disputes after you have passed. Make sure your Will is signed by two independent witnesses to validate it. A beneficiary cannot legally benefit from a Will they have witnessed, so your witnesses should always be people who will not inherit anything in the Will.
5. What to do after making your Will
Once you have made your Will, keep it in a safe place and let your executor know where it can be found in the event of your death. Also remember to update it if your circumstances change.
Sandy cautions the use DIY Will-writing packages or services that are on the market.
Sandy Kaur is a solicitor with Taylor Rose Solicitors covering Leicestershire, Market Harborough, Corby, Kettering, Northampton and Peterborough and works with families to ensure their assets are gifted to their loved ones in the most efficient manner when they pass away, through a carefully drafted Will.
For an informal, no obligation chat, contact Sandy on 01733 865625 or email Sandy Kaur.
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