If you want certainty, only a Will gives that to you!
By making a will you can decide what happens to your property and possessions after your death. Although you do not have to make one by law, it is the best way to make sure your estate is passed on to family and friends exactly as you wish. If you die without a will, your assets may be distributed according to the law rather than your wishes.
Why it’s important to make a will
A will sets out who is to benefit from your property and possessions (your estate) after your death. There are many good reasons to make a will:
- you can decide how your assets are shared – if you don’t have a will, the law says who gets what
- if you’re an unmarried couple (whether or not it’s a same-sex relationship), you can make sure your partner is provided for
- if you’re divorced, you can decide whether to leave anything to your former partner
- you can make sure you don’t pay more Inheritance Tax than necessary
Wondering who will get your assets and possessions?
Click this link to see a flow-chart of ‘who get’s what’ if there’s no Will in place (Source: Bright Grey).
Preparing your will
Although it is possible to write a will by yourself, it is advisable to use a solicitor as there are various legal formalities you need to follow to make sure that your will is valid. You may also need legal advice for more complicated matters. A solicitor can also advise you about how Inheritance Tax affects you.
A solicitor may be able to visit you in your own home, care home or hospital.
The cost of writing a will can vary between solicitors and will depend on how complicated your affairs may be and the experience of the solicitor.
As well as solicitors, voluntary organisations such as Citizens Advice Bureau and Age UK can also help with your will.
What should be included in your will
Before you write your will or consult a solicitor, it’s a good idea to think about what you want included in your will. You should consider:
- how much money and what property and possessions you have.
- who you want to benefit from your will.
- who should look after any children under 18 years of age (and provide the funds to do so. Life assurance is the answer – speak to us about ensuring there are enough funds to ensure your children have enough).
- who is going to sort out your estate and carry out your wishes after your death – that is your executor.
An executor is the person responsible with passing on your estate. You can appoint an executor by naming them in your will. The courts can also appoint other people to be responsible for doing this job.
Keeping your will up-to-date
You should review your will every five years and after any major change in your life – such as getting separated, married or divorced, having a child or moving house. Any change must be by ‘codicil’ (an addition, amendment or supplement to a will) or by making a new will.
If you have certain possessions that you would like to go to a particular person, you can write a list to show this, and keep it with your Will.
Always tell your chosen Executors where you have kept your Will.
How can we help you?
Using a mortgage broker to do your Will writing arrangements is not the first thing that comes to mind. However, whilst we are mortgage advisers first and foremost, we are also qualified financial advisers* who have years of experience helping people provide for their families and loved ones. Part of this is arranging life assurance to ensure that there is enough money to leave behind should you die too early. The funds produced by life assurance could be used to give to your Executors and/or Trustees to provide your appointed Guardians with the funds needed to continue to raise children in the way you would wish them to continue to be raised. We use a very large range of insurers for family protection planning, and the use of Trusts, to ensure that the right money goes to the right people at the right time.
*We are financial advisers who do not offer investment advice, on products such as lump sum investments or pensions. However, we can introduce our clients to industry professionals who we trust sufficiently to make such introductions to should you require investment advice. Ask us for details.
For Will writing, we act as introducers to experts who specialise in Wills and Trusts. This ensures that you are dealing with reputable, trusted people who will take the time and care to ensure you receive the best possible advice for your particular circumstances.
Will writing is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.