Preparing your Will may not be at the top of your list of exciting things to do. In fact it may bring to the surface some thoughts about the fact that you will (eventually) die and what that means for your family. Whilst you may find this a little morbid, planning for your loved one’s future will allow you to feel that they will be cared for even when you are not around.
So what do you need to consider when preparing your Will? Firstly you should select a specialist solicitor to draft your Will for you. This will ensure that your Will meets all the legal requirements and that it is valid. There are a number of other options, such as DIY Wills or Will writers, however these services cannot absolutely guarantee that your Will is valid and correctly signed and witnessed. This could mean that family is left to deal with your estate as someone who is intestate (without a Will) and this can be a very difficult situation for them.
Once you have found the right solicitor to work with, you will need to consider who you would like to be beneficiaries of your Will. There are no hard and fast rules here, but if you do plan to exclude any close family members, it may be better to have discussions about this so they understand the reasons why. By not having these discussions, you may open up the possibility of a challenge to your Will and this will not help any of your family.
Talking to a solicitor before finalising your Will as there may be some advice to be given relating to tax issues or changes you can make to ensure that you get the most tax efficient Will possible. You may set up a trust or increase your donation to charity to 10% of your total estate (as this can significantly reduce the inheritance tax payable on your estate) so this might be beneficial for your family.
Remember, your Will is your legacy and a way to protect your loved ones when you die. Make sure you prepare well as the consequences will only be felt once you have already gone.
This information provided in this article is not intended to constitute legal advice and each relationship breakdown requires careful consideration in our view by a fully qualified Solicitors before decisions are made and before you embark on a certain course of action.
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