Wills, Estate Planning, Trusts & Probate > Will Writing
WILL WRITING SERVICE
Death is no respecter of age or persons and therefore should not be left until the last minute. With a Will in place, your money, property and affairs will be dealt with as you wish when you die.
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Reasons to Make a Will
A Will can;
- Save time and costs in administering your estate after your death
- Let you provide for unmarried partners, friends or charities
- Prohibit people from inheriting from your estate who may be entitled under the statutory rules of legacy. For example a separated spouse or family member.
- Help reduce the impact of inheritance tax and care fees on your estate
- Appoint guardians for your children
It is very important, if you are a parent with young children that you have an up to date will. Parents can specify in their will who they wish to be guardians for their children. For example who would take over the parental responsibility if their children are minors and lose both of their parents.
Furthermore having a will also ensures that children are provided for financially. If parents do not have a will, children, if entitled, will inherit at the age of 18. Children under 18 (if entitled) will be able to inherit but it will be held in a bereaved minors trust until they attain the age of 18. Inheriting a large sum of money at 18 can often do more harm than good.
In a Will, inheritance can be delayed past the age of 18 or put into a trust. This allows your chosen trustees to make decisions about how the inheritance is used.
Reviewing and Updating Your Will
If you already have a Will in place it's always a good idea to review it every 3 to 5 years. This will ensure that your wishes as to who inherits your estate are up to date. Also when there are significant changes in circumstances, financially or otherwise. Please remember that changes to the law may also affect your Will so it should be reviewed regularly.
Many people may not know that marriage invalidates an existing will. It is therefore important that wills are reviewed regularly and kept up to date.
It is always a good idea to review your will after significant life events. For example, an increase in assets (e.g. purchasing property), having children, getting married or divorced or losing someone who is named in your will. This ensures that the will still carries out your wishes and protects your assets.
You must review your Will if:
- Someone mentioned in your Will has died
- You get married or a civil partnership begins, because this revokes any previous Will. Unless the intention of marriage to that particular person was stated in the Will
- You get divorced or separate – after getting divorced your Will is still valid. It will automatically remove your former spouse/civil partner from your Will
- You separate from your spouse or civil partner. Separation will not affect your Will, so gifts to your spouse or civil partner will still be valid.
- You have children – having children does not revoke your Will, neither does it mean that they will automatically be provided for.
- The value of your personal wealth changes significantly
- The personal circumstances of any of your beneficiaries change. For example if one of your beneficiaries is in the process of a divorce or dissolution, or in financial difficulty.
- You want to protect your assets from care fees
- You sell or get rid of a particular asset which is subject to a gift in your Will. For example a car or house
Wills by nature are not something people think a lot about and are often associated with the elderly.
What Happens If You Die Without Making a Will?
Without a Will, you will be classed as dying ‘intestate’ and statutory rules will apply. Under these rules:
- Your estate has no choice or control over who inherits
- Your spouse or civil partner may only be entitled to part of your estate
- There may be no provision for your children, grandchildren or other relatives or dependants
- Any children that do benefit will be entitled to their share at age 18, which you may feel is too young
- Unmarried partners do not benefit
- Charities do not benefit
- Your estate may end up with an inheritance tax bill, so expect to pay a higher rate
Therefore, it is important to make sure you have a Will in place. At Taylor Rose we are authorised and regulated under the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
We offer legal advice on a wide range of will writing services and estate planning. These range from complex wills involving large estates to simpler wills, designed for individuals or families with more straight-forward requirements. Our will writing solicitors help you to get all of your legal documents in place. We also offer advice on powers of attorney and probate services.
WANT TO MAKE A WILL?
There is a risk involved when preparing a will without the use of a solicitor. The will may not be valid if it is incorrectly signed and witnessed. If certain terms of the will are unclear, gifts may fail and wishes may not be carried out.
There are often problems with fraud, dishonesty or misconduct when using an unregulated will writer. Meaning that there is not much protection for consumers. Unregulated Will writers mean that anyone can set up a business as a Will writer with no experience or training required.
Solicitors and law firms however, are subject to strict regulations. This offers much more protection and expertise. The law society or the institute of professional willwriters can help you find a Will writing firm which is regulated.
A Will get be challenged or contested under the Inheritance (Provisions for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. Contesting a Will is becoming more common in England and Wales. Some challenges are brought on due to deficiencies in the Will preparation or the Will making file. These challenges can sometimes be avoided if the Will or the file has properly been prepared.
Homemade Wills and those drafted by non professionals are more likely to be challenged as they are not legally binding documents. Also, unlike will writing solicitors, it's likely unregulated Will writers wont have the correct insurance in place to cover negligently drafted Wills.
YOUR WILL WRITING SOLICITORS | PERSONAL ADVICE | TAYLOR ROSE MW EXPERTS
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