Most of us are aware that it is essential to have a Will in place and that it is not always the best idea to write it yourself. But when and why is writing your own will, without any professional help, such a bad idea? Read on and learn more about wills and other estate planning solutions.
Putting all your wishes together in one place seems relatively straightforward. For as long as people have valued their possessions, we have been making plans for what happens to what we own once we pass. In fact, laws governing inheritance are some of our oldest. But these days, dying without a Will in place, means your estate is governed by the Rules of Intestacy.
These rules set an order of precedence which determine who is entitled to what and who is allowed to administer the Estate (the executor). So if you are to have any control over who inherits what, or want to leave money or gifts to anyone outside of your immediate family, or even if you just want to reduce your inheritance tax bill, then you’ll need Will.
So why do only 60% of us have Wills? Maybe because a lot of people think the current laws are sufficient, or that they have nothing of value to leave. But the truth: is the vast majority of people need a Will to avoid any legal and personal complications when they pass on. So let’s take a look at the ins and outs of home made wills and when they are and are not sufficient.
Can I Write My Own Will?
This is one of the most common questions we get asked and yes, it is perfectly ok to write a will yourself. That is not to say it is the best idea. If you wish to make a will by yourself, you can do so but you should only consider doing this if it is going to be straightforward. For example, if you are married or in a civil partnership and have only children from within the pairing, and you want to leave everything to the surviving parent (or jointly between the children should they be adults and both parents die together), this could prove fairly straightforward.
Still, there are particular ways in which things must be written and witnessed to make sure the Will is legally valid. Also, inheritance and tax laws could change after you write a Will meaning it is important to seek professional advice to make sure you avoid any pitfalls.
Estate Planning Solutions
When Should I Use a solicitor To Write A Will?
We advise that you should consider using a solicitor if:
- You may have to pay Inheritance Tax ( if your estate’s value is more than £325,000)
- There is a complicated family situation, such as former partners / step children, and you want to be sure that your estate will be divided as you wish. Estate planning solutions are important.
- You want to protect someone’s interests after you’ve gone, such as a disabled family member
- Ann expert is needed to explain all the options to you, or you need some support
- You co-own property with someone who is not your husband, wife or civil partner
- There are several family members who could make a claim on the will, such as a second wife or children from a first marriage
- Your permanent home is not in the United Kingdom
- You own overseas property
- You own a business
If any of the above apply to you, or you don’t feel confident in putting everything together yourself, you should consider using our will writing service to write a Will for you.
Some common mistakes in making a will are:
- Being unaware of the formal requirements which make a will legally valid
- Failing to take account of all of your estate/possessions
- Failing to take into account of the possibility of a beneficiary dying before them
- Changing the will without the alterations being signed and witnessed
- Being unaware of the effect of marriage, civil partnerships, divorces or dissolutions of a civil partnership
- Not Knowing the rules that enable dependents to claim from the estate if they believe they are not adequately provided for. These rules mean that the provisions in the will could be overturned. Learn more about Estate Planning Solutions
Benefits Of Making a Will
A Will also makes it so much easier for your family to sort everything out and apply for probate on your death. Probate alone can be time consuming and complicated; the absence of a Will can make it even more so.
If you have financial dependents you can make sure they are taken care of via your Will. The laws of intestacy mean the Law decides in the absence of a Will meaning people outside of your immediate family are unlikely to benefit so if you have specific wishes to pass on assets outside of your family a Will is imperative.
Organising the affairs involved in the estate of a person who dies without a legally binding will can pose many expensive problems. To prevent situations such as these it is wise to consider using will writing solicitors and employing other estate planning solutions to protect your assets.
Is A Will Enough?
Like many who are considering a Will for peace of mind, you should also consider Lasting Powers of Attorney. Your Will protects your assets and loved one in death and an LPA protects you in life, in case a situation arises in which you’re unable to make decisions for yourself.
Furthermore, If you want to have control over who your assets go to and how they’re used, then you can do this using a Trust. One of our professionals in estate planning solutions will be able to put together a plan which covers all your needs.
Without having a Will and Estate Planning Solutions in place, you and your family risk paying more in the long run on things like probate, court fees, solicitors and taxes. Our experienced estate planners know how to secure the best possible tax and financial benefits for you and your family. This means there is less of a burden on you.