As a part of our advice process, we always ask clients whether they have taken the time to review or put in place a Will.
In our opinion it is important to make a Will regardless of how many possessions or how much money you have built up.
The following scenarios may resonate and call you to act. If you die without a Will, there are certain rules which dictate how your money, property or possessions are allocated. This may not be in accordance with your wishes. Unmarried partners, sometimes referred to as Common Law partners, cannot inherit from each other unless there is a Will, so the death of one partner may create serious financial problems. If you have young children, you may choose to make a Will so that arrangements can be made to provide for your children if either one or both parents die. It may be possible to reduce the amount of tax payable on any inheritance if advice is taken in advance and a Will is set up.
If your circumstances have changed, it is important that you review your Will to ensure that your money and possessions are distributed according to your wishes. If you get married or enter into a registered civil partnership, this will make any previous Will you have made invalid.
We always recommend that you approach a solicitor when reviewing or making a Will. Whilst of course this is not a requirement, the do-it-yourself approach being possible, with such an important document we feel that engaging with a professional is preferable.
With this in mind, Free Wills Month is back from 1st October. This brings together a number of solicitors across England (Northern Ireland and Wales) sponsored by a group of well-respected charities (e.g., British Heart Foundation, Breast Cancer Now, NSPCC). If you are over the age of 55 and wish to put in place a simply Will or review your existing Will this might be worth exploring (https://freeWillsmonth.org.uk)
Whilst considering a Will, you may always wish to look into the merits of Lasting Powers of Attorney, putting a trusted person(s) in place to make decisions on your behalf if you do not want to or are not in the position to make these for yourself.
If you need assistance in finding a local solicitor to assist you, do get in contact with your Wingate adviser who will be very happy to make an appropriate referral.