Making a Will is one of the most important things that you can do and is a quick and easy way to safeguard your loved one’s future and to protect your legacy.
What is a Will?
A Will is a legal declaration of your intentions as to how you wish to dispose of your property and belongings after you have died. A Will only comes into effect when you die and enables you to make important decisions in your lifetime that will affect your family after your death.
If you haven’t already written a Will, then you’re not alone; it is estimated that two-thirds of the British public haven’t prepared a Will. However, what you might not realise is that without one you have no say in what happens to your estate when you die. Dying without one leaves a lot of stress and financial worry for loved ones, which can be avoided.
What happens if you don’t have a Will?
If you die without having made a Will, the ‘Rules of Intestacy’ apply to your estate. These legal regulations will divide your estate in a pre-determined way and, regardless of whether you are married, in a civil partnership or have step-children, could result in your assets being distributed to family members that you would not have chosen to inherit from your estate.
Find out who might inherit from you under the Intestacy laws, you might be surprised by the results. If you don’t have any living relatives, the Crown may take the Estate.
If you die intestate leaving a spouse or civil partner and children, your spouse or civil partner will inherit the first £250,000 of your estate, plus all of your personal possessions, and a lifetime interest in half of whatever is left. The other half of the balance will pass automatically to your children immediately upon your death.
Making a Will can:
- Ensure that those you wish to inherit your assets on your death actually get them;
- Enable you to appoint your own Executors and Trustees;
- Allow you to appoint Guardians for your children;
- Help to minimise inheritance tax liabilities;
- Protect disabled or vulnerable beneficiaries;
- Ensure that ‘first’ and ‘second’ families are treated fairly;
- Be used to ensure the continuation of a family business;
- Protect your assets (as far as possible) from the impact of care home fees; and
- Give you peace of mind and avoid intestacy.
What is involved in making a Will?
The first meeting – Is a chance to get to know you better. Taking the time to talk through your options, answer your questions and give advice based on your individual circumstances. Depending on the complexity of your situation this appointment usually takes between 1- 2 hours. I send you information before a meeting to ensure you know what to expect.
Drafting your Will – After taking your detailed instructions, you can sit back and relax! I write your Will. I send you a draft copy of the Will along with an explanation of the clauses. Alterations can be made until you are happy that the Will meets your requirements. When you are happy, I prepare your final Will.
Signing the Will – A second visit is made to deliver your Will. I also ensure that it is signed and witnessed in accordance with legal requirements. This is extremely important because if this is not done correctly, then your Will won’t be valid. You must have at least two witnesses. It is only at this stage that payment is due.
Make a Will without delay
Regardless of your age or health, it is important to plan ahead if you care about what happens to your property when you have gone and if you want to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of.
The truth is if you care about what happens to your property when you are gone and you want to ensure your loved ones are looked after, you need to make a Will sooner rather than later. Athena Wills can help you with this daunting process in a friendly, professional and confidential way.
We are very happy to offer a free consultation over the telephone or by email about your situation and tell you more about our will writing service. To get started now, please Contact us.