DRN Probate Lawyers’ Top 5 Will Writing Tips
When it comes to writing your will, you want to be absolutely certain that your wishes will be carried out. A watertight will ensures that you have nothing to worry about once you pass away, and gives ultimate peace of mind that you will be able to take care of your family and loved ones even after you die.
Writing a will can be a confusing business, but it is our job as expert wills and probate lawyers to help you through every aspect of the process. We deal with individuals’ wills every single day, and we know what’s important to you, and what’s important in the eyes of the law.
Here are ten of our most important tips for will writing to help you make the important step of getting started on your own will.
Tip 1: Do it now!
The best advice we could give to anyone regarding their will is to get started as soon as possible. While it can be a difficult or daunting prospect, making a will is actually a simple process if you have the right support behind you. What’s more, once you’ve made your will, you will no longer have to worry about what may happen to your assets or other wishes after your death.
The sooner you make your will, the sooner you will have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your family, friends and loved ones will be able to carry out your wishes exactly as you planned.
Tip 2: Enlist the expert support of a wills and probate lawyer.
While there are many ways to create a will in your name, including DIY will-making kits, it is easy to make a mistake or leave errors that could mean your beneficiaries may not receive your estate, or cost the estate a great deal in sorting out claims by disgruntled beneficiaries or unexpected tax bills.
Making your will with a trusted legal professional means you’ll be covered by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority. A qualified solicitor will understand the intricate legalities and be able to offer in-depth tax advice, including details on your inheritance tax allowance, enabling you to make decisions now to aid your family and loved ones in the future.
Also, check for the WIQS mark, a recognised quality scheme that assures all the legal experts dealing with making wills and organising your estate in the event of your death are the best in their field, something which DRN have achieved year after year.
Tip 3: Clearly choose who you want to leave your estate and assets to.
The most important advice we give to will-makers time and time again is this: Your assets and estate will not automatically be passed to your partner, no matter how long you have been together.
If you live with a partner are not married, and have no will the law states that your assets will be passed to your nearest blood relatives. . Making a will ensures that your home, assets, investments and any other items in your estate pass to your partner if you wish them to do so.
In addition, choosing not to make a will means dying “intestate”. This means your assets will devolve according to intestacy rules and will be divided in strict order amongst blood relatives who you do not wish to benefit. They may even be relatives who you have fallen out with or do not actually know.
Tip 4: Remember to appoint guardians.
In some wills, details are given on the subjects of assets and estate, but guardianship can be overlooked, especially if you are in a family unit with more than one parent.
While it isn’t pleasant to think about, wills should always consider how to react to a worst-case scenario. Should you and your partner die, provisions must be made to ensure your children are cared for by people you know and trust. If a guardian is not appointed, one will be automatically appointed by the court.
If you are in an unmarried partnership, it is important to place each other as guardians so that any children you have under the age of 18 are automatically legally placed in your partner’s care in the event of your death.
Tip 5: Choose executors wisely
Choosing the executors of your will is a big decision, and it is better to choose more than one in many cases. Your executors will be in charge of exercising your wishes and dealing with all aspects of your estate. It is important to talk through your plans and check person to be your executor is willing to act. Explain what the job might entail. It is a big responsibility and you want to be absolutely sure the Executors will have the ability to perform their duties and maximise the estate for your chosen beneficiaries.
Also – tell your executors where your will is! You should keep it safe, ideally with your solicitor and make sure your executor knows that this is where it is. Don’t be tempted to keep your will in a safety deposit box. Despite it seeming like the perfect place to keep an important document, banks are unable by law to open safety deposit boxes without the executor having probate. This is where it gets complicated – probate cannot be granted without the will. Some solicitors will also register your Will on the Certainty National Will register, ensuring there is always a record of where your will is held to prevent fraud or loss. DRN offer this service to all clients free of charge.
If you’d like more advice on wills and probate, or you’d like to speak to our lawyers about writing your will, contact us today on 01282 433 241 . We’d be happy to talk you through it.