Why should I make a Will?
It is estimated that over half of the adult population do not have a Will.
A Will is an important document which not only ensures that your wishes regarding property and possessions (your estate) are clearly expressed, but can also be useful as a tax planning tool.
The importance of making a Will
There are many reasons to make a Will.
By making a Will you can decide how your estate is to be shared on your death. If you die without a Will your estate will pass under the Intestacy Rules. This may mean the people who you would wish to benefit from your estate get nothing.
It is a common misconception that your spouse or civil partner will inherit the whole of your estate under the Intestacy Rules. This is not always the case.
Separated or divorced
If you have separated or are getting divorced it is wise to review your Will.
Many couples make Wills together, leaving everything to their partners. That may no longer be how you would want your estate to be distributed.
If you have not made a Will the Intestacy Rules mean that if you die prior to the divorce being finalised your spouse would still receive an inheritance from you. It is therefore advisable to make a Will setting out how you would like you estate to be divided.
Unmarried or in a civil partnership
It is particularly important to make a Will if you are not married or are in a registered civil partnership. Without one your partner may not be provided for. This is because the law does not automatically recognise cohabitants as having the same rights as a spouse or civil partner.
Children or dependants
A will is also vital if you have children or dependants who may not be able to care for themselves.
In the Will, you can name who you wish to act as legal guardian for the children. You can also decide who you would like to look after any money which is to be inherited by your children should they be too young to have the responsibility themselves.
Why Consult a Solicitor?
It is advisable to use a solicitor to prepare your Will. There are various legal formalities you must follow to make sure your Will is valid.
A solicitor will be able to ensure your wishes are carried out exactly as you intended.
There are various organisations now which offer Will writing services; however, these should be approached with caution.
Keeping your Will up to date
It is essential to review your Will regularly and after any change in circumstances, i.e. marriage, divorce or having a child.
A solicitor can tell you what changes may be necessary to update your Will and ensure it remains valid.
We can help
If you have any questions or wish to arrange an appointment to make or amend a Will, please contact Sarah Mochan, Liam Wdowiak and Charlotte Fox on 0121 705 7571 (Solihull office) or Ruth Nolan on 01564 779393 (Dorridge office).
Making or amending a Will if you are divorced (Wills & Probate)
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