Have you thought about writing a will?

November 23, 2015

According to the Guardian website, two thirds of parents have not made a will.  Not too many of us like thinking or talking about death, so this is hardly that surprisingly.  Having said that, writing a will is really a top priority for those of us with children. We don’t want our loved ones to have to deal with a financial headache and any complications on top of losing a loved one when our time’s up. 


So what’s stopping us?
“It’s expensive”

According to this interactive page from legal firm FBC Manby Bowdler the cost of writing a will, is less than people expect.  Using a solicitor to write a will, usually costs no more than a couple of hundred pounds.  This may seem expensive to some of us, however considering the potential savings that could be made on things such as inheritance tax, or even the cost of legal disputes between siblings if a parent dies intestate (without a will) it’s not bad value at all
You should hopefully only ever have to make a will once, and considering the specialist legal knowledge required to make sure it’s completed in full and that it’s legally all above board – the cost isn’t too extravagant.

Having said that,  a number of trade unions and employers will provide free will writing services, and if you’re over the age of 55 and happy to wait there are even ‘Free Wills Months’Finally, if you are looking to save on the fee, there is the option of writing a will yourself, but it’s important to read all the rules and regulations to make sure that it is valid from a legal standpoint


I don’t know how to write a will


You don’t need to know specifically how to write a will, you just need to make an appointment with a solicitor or a Will Writer and they can guide you through the process.
Although it is possible to write a will yourself, surveyconducted by Will Aid reported that 68% of people use a solicitor to write their will.  Another option, is to hire a specific Will Writer to help you complete it. Most people choose to use a solicitor however as it provides complete peace of mind as they are regulated by the legal ombudsmanand will make sure that the will is watertight and completely valid from a legal perspective. 

“I don’t think I need one

Chances are, you probably do, especially if you have children.  If you have any specific funeral plans or preferences you should state those in the will.  If you have a ‘tenants in common mortgage’ you should say what will happen with your share of the mortgage, and more importantly, if you have children under the age of 18, you need to choose someone to look after them if you pass away.  Be aware also that if you are not married to your partner, the ‘law’ will not recognise this relationship in the sense that he or she is unlikely to receive any money or assets if you pass away without a will. 
Conversely, if you are married, your husband or wife may inherit all of your estate and your children may get nothing – even if you are separated. 
There is a specific calculator on the gov.uk website to show who inherits what if someone dies without a will.  You can also use the interactive guide below to see if you’re reasons for not making a will are actually valid. Just click separately on each piece of pink text and choose a reason from the menu that appears.

 

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