HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE A WILL?
Is it valid? Is it up to date?
Did you know …. only 50% of adults in the UK have a valid Will. And in the age bracket 30-55 it’s less than 30%!!!
WHY HAVEN’T YOU DONE ONE YET?
Here are some reasons I often hear:
I don’t need one – or - I only need one if I’m old or ill
I don’t know where to start
If I do one I will die...
Let’s tackle each of these reasons.
But first let’s tackle the last one.
If you make a Will, of course you will die.
But not straight away!
Making a Will doesn’t make you die.
It can be but it doesn’t have to be.
A solicitor will charge you around £300.
That’s because they have years of legal training, but also because they have overheads like staff and offices.
You can do it online or via a DIY Will pack for around £29.
You can also do it free to support charity – although there is some pressure for donation and other services.
Or you can use a Will writer.
Make sure your Will writer is fully trained and insured (not all are). I belong to the Society of Will Writers.
This means I am fully trained, insured, and regulated. And I must adhere to their code of compliance.
My Wills are £100 single and £150 for a couple. You can add trusts for extra protection, but even complex Wills are only £200-£350.
And 5% from every invoice is donated to our local CancerCare facility – totalling £1000 in 2020.
I don’t know where to start:
There is a LOT of information online – companies, advice, 'Facebook experts'! I try to make it easy for you.
I offer FREE Will Reviews and FREE 30-minute consultations.
There are also lots of simple free information guides on our website too.
I have a friendly approach which many of my clients tell me makes every simple and easy to understand, and we visit you at home – for privacy and convenience. Before that, we send you a 'What to Consider' document, explaining the key things we will talk through, so you have time to think about it.
And the big one – I don’t need a Will.
YOU NEED A WILL IF ….
You want a choice of who it goes to. A common misconception is that your partner will get everything anyway. This is not the case, especially if you aren’t married.
You have a property. Not all properties are owned in the same way – especially joint owners. You need to understand how it’s owned to make sure it doesn’t pass to your partner and run the risk of it being lost for your kids if your partner remarries or needs care.
You have children. Without naming a legal guardian in your Will, your children could be placed into the care of someone else, and in extreme cases placed in care while those decisions are made.
You have a business. Especially if you want your business to continue after you aren’t here. You need to give protection to those you leave it to, and make sure they are protected from Inheritance Tax in the future.
You’ve just got married, or remarried. Your Will is revoked on marriage so make sure you write another!
You are separating or divorcing. Until your decree absolute, your spouse or civil partner is still entitled to your estate if you don't have a Will, and if you do, they will still inherit according to that document. Once the proceedings are complete, they won’t inherit but they may have been your sole beneficiary or your executor – so you need to check it!
You live together. Don’t assume your partner is entitled to anything at all. They also have no legal rights to make decisions about your funeral or administer your estate. You could even be left in a situation where your children inherit OVER your partner ….
And even if you are NONE of these, you still need a Will.
Because without one your family will be left with a mess. They will have to apply to administer your estate and will face delays in getting access to and distributing your assets.
So my message - if you haven’t done it yet – MAKE A WILL 😉
And if you have one and haven’t reviewed it recently then do that!
Nicola Combe, Morecambe Bay Wills & Estates