How important is making a Will?
10 May 2022 by James Bird
It’s on my to-do list. I keep meaning to but things just get in the way. I don’t want to think about that sort of thing. I have but it’s so old it doesn’t really apply now.
Do any of these sound familiar? As a Wills and Probate solicitor I hear this on a daily basis be it from clients, friends or family. These are probably my top four responses I get to the question of “have you got a Will?”
The importance of a Will cannot be stressed enough. Not only does it give you control over who deals with your affairs when you pass away, but it also gives you control over where your assets go. In the UK, we are free to leave our assets to whoever we like, which is a freedom that not every country gets to enjoy. So why would you not make the most of this?
By having your Will in place you can have the peace of mind that comes with it knowing that you have done one of the simplest things to make life easier for those you have left behind. They can follow your wishes and instructions of where things pass and who benefits as opposed to having to worry about what happens and whether it is something you would have wanted.
Having a Will means you can also arrange your affairs to provide for loved ones in the best way possible. Sometimes beneficiaries might not be able to cope with inheriting assets directly and might need further assistance or a trust put in place to help them. This is something which again can all be included in the Will and advice can be provided by a solicitor with recommendations when drafting the document.
Families aren’t always straight forward either and sometimes if you didn’t have a Will, there might be members who would benefit from your estate against your wishes. Dying without a Will is called being intestate. The Law sets out who inherits your assets when you die intestate and sometimes, this could mean that someone you have fallen out with benefits. At least having a Will you know that won’t happen.
Wills can also deal with something much more important than what you own though, your children! If you have young children, a Will can also include who you wish to appoint as Guardians for your children (ie who you want to care for them whilst they are young). It is not a nice thing to think about, but sometimes it does happen where both parents pass with young children. This makes Wills critical to ensure that your children are cared for by the people you know would do best by them and hopefully avoid any arguments with family over who takes on the role.
Wills can also give directions about your funeral wishes as well. Sometimes people want simple funerals, others want more elaborate and some people come up with much more unusual requests. Loved ones don’t always know what these wishes are but by having a Will this is one place they could be recorded.
Another excuse that I come across for not having made a Will is the cost. However, this is an excuse that can be avoided. June 2022 will see the return of the St Helena Wills Month campaign which Fisher Jones Greenwood are proud supporters of and shall be taking part in once again. Instead of paying the usual solicitor fees for making a Will, you can donate to St Helena Hospice and we would then draft your Will for you. So not only do you get a professionally made Will by a qualified solicitor but also you help a great cause.
To take part in the St Helena Wills Campaign, contact St Helena Hospice on 01206 931468 or by email on [email protected] and they can help to arrange everything with you. They will then help book a convenient appointment for you with us (either face to face or by video call) and we can then guide you through the process of making your Will. Alternatively contact us directly on 01206 835261 and we can let you know the next steps.
More information on the St Helena Wills Campaign can be found here: www.sthelena.org.uk/willsmonth
What happens when a dentist wishes to sell their practice but the lease is due to expire? Leah Groves explains opt… https://t.co/mPGwLm93PP3 days
This week marks Mental Health Awareness Week. It can be scarily easy to fall into the trap of your own mind when ba… https://t.co/KIC8JZQh6F4 days