Are you one of the 51% of people in the UK who have not made a will?
If you are, it’s probably on your to do list, and you’ve just not got around to it yet.
In November, there’s a solution to this problem coming to a solicitor’s practice near you.
Read on and we’ll explain all you need to know. But before we do, here are a few reasons why you should make a will:
- It’s the best way of confirming how you want your assets distributed after you die. If you die without a valid will, the laws of intestacy will determine how your assets are distributed; this might not be in accordance with your wishes
- You can also make other wishes clear, for example the type of funeral you want
- If you have dependent children you can use your will to nominate your chosen legal guardians
- A correctly written will could help reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax (IHT) paid by your beneficiaries
Finally, making a will helps your loved ones to understand your wishes and avoid difficult, and potentially contentious decisions, at an already emotional time.
Who should write your will?
There’s no reason why you can’t make your own will, indeed you can buy will kits in shops and there are many options for doing so online.
However, we always recommend a will is drawn up by a suitably experienced and qualified solicitor. This should prevent a poorly written will being contested or your wishes being open to interpretation.
As Will Aid say on their website: “It is said that solicitors make more money sorting out badly written or invalid wills than they do out of writing them!”
“Ok, I’m convinced! How do I take part in Will Aid?”
The process couldn’t be simpler:
- Click here and enter your postcode to find a solicitor near you who is participating in Will Aid
- Decide whether you need a single or mirror will (for married couples)
- Select the solicitor you want to work with and make an appointment to see them
- Decide on the charity you want to support
Rather than paying the solicitor for drawing up your will, as you would normally do, you will be invited to donate to one of Will Aid’s nominated charities. The suggested donations are:
- For a single will: £95
- For a pair of mirror will: £150
Since it started in 1988, Will Aid has encouraged over 300,000 people to make a will, and raised nearly £20 million for good causes; including NSPCC, British Red Cross and Save the Children.
You can find out more about how Will Aid has helped numerous charities by clicking here.
Your next job
Once you have made your will, you can give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back.
However, your work is not done.
No one likes to contemplate their own mortality, but death will come to us all, and as you are putting your affairs in order, there are other things you should look at. For example:
- Do you have dependants, children, partner or spouse, who would struggle financially if you died? If so, now’s the time to consider the money which would be available to them if you died and whether it would be sufficient for their needs
- If you have assets over a certain level your beneficiaries may have to pay Inheritance Tax. Now is the perfect time to consider options for reducing the amount they will have to pay
- If you ever become incapable of making financial decisions, it is useful to have a trusted person to act for you. This is known as an attorney and is something you set up whilst you are in good health. Again, now could be the time to consider this option
Making a will, and putting your affairs in order, will help both you and your loved ones deal with death. No one likes to think about such things, but it does make good financial sense. November is the perfect month to grasp the nettle and take the first step to ticking this job off your to do list.
If you have any questions about this article, we are here to help.
Call Sarah or Bev today on 0115 933 8433 or email email@example.com