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This article was published on December 13th, 2021
Most of us recognise the importance of creating a Will, it is the only way to ensure that you are getting full control over who benefits from your estate. This article will explore the importance of creating a Will, DIY Wills and how you can ensure you have a legal Will.
A Will is a legal document that expresses your wishes after your death. The information that you choose to include will vary depending on your circumstances. However, typically, your Will should dictate who will receive rights to your largest assets such as your house and car, who inherits any money that is left and who inherits any other smaller assets and possessions. If you are creating a Will whilst you still have young children it is also important to designate a legal guardian to take care of them in the event of your death.
A Will is arguably the most important document that you will create in your lifetime, but why is a Will so important?
Creating a legal Will is the only way to ensure that you have complete control over who benefits from your estate after your death. If you die without creating a Will (intestate), your estate will be shared out according to the rules of intestacy and it is likely that problems will arise for your family, particularly if you are unmarried and leave behind a partner.
Unmarried couples have no legal rights under an intestacy meaning the remaining partner will have no say over who is left what and when and they could risk losing their home and sources of income.
Many people see DIY Wills as a cost-effective way to protect their assets and interests and with various providers offering online DIY Will templates, they are considered to be an attractive option. However, DIY Wills can be dangerous and mistakes are often made.
If mistakes are made, or the witnessing procedure is not adhered to, the last will and testament will be invalid. An invalid Will may mean that your wishes are ignored, leading to more stress for your family in what is already a stressful time. As well as this your family may also be faced with large tax and legal bills.
There are a number of common mistakes that are found in DIY Wills including unsigned or undated wills, damaged paperwork due to improper storage, or even minor mistakes such as not using your full name, or there may be evidence of multiple staples or paperclip marks.
The best way to ensure that you have a legal Will is to use a solicitor to help you draft it. Using a solicitor will ensure that your Will is properly drafted ensuring that any complex family situations are accounted for and your wishes are reflected accurately. They can help you plan to mitigate your inheritance tax liability.
Here at Thorneycroft, we want to ensure that your wishes after your death are honoured. We will offer you a free consultation to discuss your Will requirements. We understand the complexities that can arise when writing a Will, which is why our Wills solicitors take the time to understand your specific circumstances and the importance of safeguarding the financial security of your family. Our solicitors will focus on your family’s needs, your capital and income requirements, the ownership of your property and inheritance tax considerations. We will then agree on a fee with you to provide a bespoke Will that clearly sets out your wishes.