April 14, 2024

When it comes to discussing Wills with people in general, I often notice an unaddressed issue that’s hard to ignore. It’s like having an elephant in the room.

When the topic of Wills is brought up, it forces us to confront a subject that most of us prefer to avoid: our own mortality. Thinking about writing a Will often elicits personal discomfort and unease as it requires us to ponder our eventual demise and make preparations for what comes after.

In order to gain a fresh perspective, let’s shift our thinking…

Throughout our lifetimes, a significant part of our efforts is dedicated to ensuring the well-being of our loved ones, whether it be from a financial or emotional perspective. We invest our time and resources to make sure they are taken care of. Additionally, a considerable portion of our lives is spent in our interactions with HMRC, the tax authority, where we often find ourselves contributing more than we would like to.

With my experience in the Wills and Probate field for several years, I believe that creating a meticulously prepared Will takes into account two important elements. Firstly, it focuses on prioritising the well-being and interests of our loved ones, ensuring that they are taken care of and provided for in our absence. Secondly, it also aims to minimise any potential tax liabilities by employing strategies that legally reduce the tax burden. By striking a balance between these considerations, we aim to achieve the best outcome for both our beneficiaries and our financial responsibilities.

When someone passes away without leaving a Will, there are potential consequences that can adversely affect their estate in terms of tax benefits. Moreover, the process of handling the estate can be significantly prolonged, leaving it in a state of uncertainty, which can create substantial challenges for the family members involved.

Factors to Consider When Writing Your Will

Considering the creation of a Last Will and Testament can be an overwhelming undertaking, and I frequently discover that engaging in a brief conversation before meeting with clients can aid them in arriving at the meeting with a clearer understanding of their desires. Therefore, I encourage individuals to reflect upon the following aspects: 1. Assets and Property: Take some time to consider the assets and property you own, including real estate, vehicles, investments, financial accounts, and personal belongings. 2. Beneficiaries: Reflect on who you would like to inherit your assets and property after your passing. This could

  1. When selecting the Executors and Trustees for your estate, it is important to consider individuals who are over the age of 18 and possess the necessary mental capacity. These individuals should be capable of effectively managing your estate. It may be worthwhile to contemplate those who can maintain a certain level of emotional detachment during this sensitive time and approach the management of the estate in a practical manner.
  2. When it comes to determining guardians, the focus is on selecting individuals who will assume responsibility for children under 18 years of age if their parents pass away before they become adults. The choice of guardians takes into account not only their place of residence but also their level of involvement and presence in the children’s lives. It is important to consider individuals who have a genuine connection with the children and have played an active role in shaping their upbringing.
  3. Where will your estate pass – in a situation of a married couple/those in a civil partnership, it is usually to the survivor or children if there is no partner to benefit. You may also want to think about giving cash sums to other beneficiaries or particular possessions (such as jewellery) before the estate is dealt with as a whole. For those who are not married and/or do not have children, the direction of the estate can be very personal and it is important to work through it accordingly.
  4. Living under one roof, it is not uncommon for multiple generations to coexist within the same household. This can include grandparents, parents, and children, each with their own unique needs and circumstances. Therefore, it becomes crucial to take into account the interests and requirements of all these generations when considering the contents of a Will. By acknowledging the diverse set of individuals residing together, the planning process can be tailored to ensure fairness, equality, and so on.

Wills and probate solicitors can assist you with any related service, from making a Will and Lasting Power of Attorney to the administration of estates and gifting property, as specialists they have the expertise to assist you.

Things are Changing

It is promising to witness a growing number of individuals recognizing the importance of planning their estates and creating wills. Notably, this trend is becoming more prevalent among younger generations. Several factors contribute to this shift, including heightened awareness facilitated by platforms like this one and a greater understanding of the potential consequences that may arise when an estate lacks a valid will. This increased awareness and exposure have played a significant role in driving individuals to take proactive steps towards estate planning.

DIY Wills

It is important to exercise caution while handling these matters and ensure that you seek expert guidance when necessary. It is crucial

I have witnessed numerous instances where Wills were made using store-bought templates or downloaded online, leading to a multitude of complications for the estates involved. These issues often result in Wills being deemed invalid or containing ambiguously expressed desires.

When seeking advice, it is crucial to ensure that you receive appropriate guidance and accurately document your instructions. This can be accomplished by making use of various forms of communication such as attendance notes, email trails, letters of instructions, and telephone notes. An experienced professional will play a key role in ensuring that your instructions are recorded in the most suitable and effective manner.