Start the year by securing your family’s future
The new year is here – a time when many people talk about New Year’s resolutions and their goals for the year ahead.
Living healthier, saving money and reading more often are some of the most common New Year’s resolutions that people make. But what about securing your family’s future?
If you have not yet made a Will, nothing could be more worthwhile than writing one- to set out what will happen to your finances, property, possessions and other assets after you are gone. Afterall, you can never know for sure what is around the corner and it is best to be prepared.
It is easy to brush a Will off as something you will do later on, but with around 31 million people in the UK being intestate (without a Will)-that is more than half of the UK adult population, the new year can be the perfect time to create one.
I trust my loved ones. Why is a Will so important?
It is nice to think that it could be as simple as trusting your loved ones to sort out your possessions and assets amongst themselves when you pass away.
Unfortunately, not having a Will can cause additional emotional and financial stress for your family – it could even cause major disputes.
This is because, under UK law, people who die without a Will have their assets divided amongst surviving family in a set order of priority. The law does not know your intentions, or those of your friends and family, or the quality of the relationships you had with them.
While most of us like to think that we have a long life ahead of us, there is no way of knowing – and, if you are a parent, your children may not benefit according to your wishes, if you do not have a Will.
In fact, a study by Foresters Friendly Society and ICM found children to be the most dis-advantaged by a lack of a Will. The study found that 77% of parents who have children under the age of five, had not made a will.
Indeed, a Will is more than just distributing your assets. It can also be about deciding who should look after your children if you pass away, and ensuring they have financial security as they grow up.
The situation can be more complicated if you are not married to your partner and have children. If you die without a Will, there is no guarantee that your partner will be able to live in the family home or inherit enough money to bring up your children.
By having a Will, you can specify who will be the guardians of your children, and where your assets go. It gives everyone a sense of security.
Where do I start with creating a Will?
It is important that you use a solicitor who specialises in Will writing when organising your Will.
Will kits and Will-writers may be the cheapest option short term – however choosing these options could open up a can of worms.
A Will is a legal document, so it is important that a legal professional writes it. It is not uncommon for someone to believe that they have left a viable Will to their family, for it to then be contested because the terms are unclear, making the Will invalid. A solicitor will sit down with you and write out your wishes in the correct way, preventing issues such as this.
A regulated solicitor will also ensure that your Will covers everything – particularly if the terms are complex (such as if you own a business, have children from a previous marriage or if you are unmarried).
Once you have created your Will, it is important to keep your Will up-to-date as and when your circumstances change.
How we can help
Setting up an appointment with one of our Wills specialists at Osborne Morris & Morgan is easy.
We do not expect you to come to your first appointment knowing everything. We take the time to understand what you want to achieve from your Will, asking the necessary questions to write a Will that fits your circumstances and reduce the risk of errors. The protection of your family’s future is our priority
We can also advise on other steps you can take to continue to look after your family after you have gone, such as setting up a Trust.
Speak to our specialist Wills solicitors today by calling us on 01525 378177 or contacting us online.