Every adult should make a Will, whatever their age. A Will protects your loved ones at a difficult time by clearly explaining how you would like your estate (everything you own) to be distributed. Your estate will be shared in the way you wish reducing the chances of family disagreements. When you make a Will a private client solicitor can advise you how to protect your assets by reducing the 40% Inheritance Tax bill which may be payable depending upon your circumstances.
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When a person dies without making a Will (‘intestate’) their estate is shared out according to the rules of intestacy which means that those they may have wished to inherit, such as step-children, may not receive anything. Probate – the legal process involved in managing the estate of a person who has died – is also a longer and more difficult process for relatives when a person dies intestate.
If you have children under 18 it is especially important to make a Will. In a Will you can specify who will look after your children if they lose both parents, otherwise, the decision will rest with the local authority. You can also specify how your children will be provided for financially and when they will receive any inheritance.
Once you have made a Will it is vital to review it from time to time to make sure it reflects your wishes. Life-changing events such as births, deaths, divorce or marriage can change your situation.
In your Will you may include:
Who will look after any children under 18 and the distribution of financially support
Who you want to benefit from your Will (the ‘beneficiaries’) and whether you would like to give any money to charities/organisations
How your money, property and possessions will be shared
Who is going to sort out your estate (the ‘executor’ or ‘executors’)
At QualitySolicitors Large & Gibson our experienced private client solicitors can write a Will for you or help you to up-date an existing Will. A detailed, clearly worded Will gives you the peace of mind that your wishes will be followed.
During the coronavirus pandemic, our solicitors have continued to offer tailored advice about all aspects of Wills and probate. We have been talking to clients over the telephone, email and through video messaging services such as Skype, Zoom and other platforms.
The government has recently made it easier for those who are isolating or shielding to make a Will. A Will must be witnessed by at least two people, but during the current time, this does not need to be in person. Wills witnessed remotely via video link are legally recognized from this month and these reforms are going to remain in place for as long as necessary.
To speak to our Wills and Probate solicitors please call 02392 296 296 or send us a message on the form below.
* The Gazette official public record, Will enquiries in the UK have increased by 75%, https://www.thegazette.co.uk/wills-and-probate/content/103539
** Royal London, Perplexed by wills: more than 5 million adults do not know where to begin, royallondon.com/media/press-releases/2018/december/perplexed-by-wills/#:~:text=More%20than%20half%20(54%25),encourage%20them%20to%20do%20so.