Make your wishes clear with a legally binding Will
Planning for when we’re no longer around can be the last thing on our minds when living busy lives. But putting together a Will and deciding what happens to your estate after your pass on will make sure it is distributed in a way you would like and save your loved ones unnecessary distress at an already difficult time.
Your will tells everyone what should happen to your money, possessions and property after you die (all these things together are called your ‘estate’). If you don’t leave a Will, the law decides how your estate is divided – and this might not be in line with your wishes and can be an expensive and lengthy process for your loved ones.
But despite this only 60% of us have a Will in place, why not? Probably because people think the current laws are sufficient, or they believe they have nothing of value to leave. But the truth is the vast majority of people need a Will to avoid any legal and personal complications when they pass on.
The Wright Wills Way…
Making a Will is straightforward and our team have the knowledge to help you avoid any of the possible problems occurring from a badly written Will.
With years of Will writing experience we have the knowledge to guide you through what can seem like a complex legal process with care.
Our Estate Planning Consultants take the time to get to know you and your personal circumstances and wishes, and will make sure everything is explained clearly and concisely in a way you understand in the comfort of your own home.
In some situations you may need more than a Will – such as if you have a second family or you want to control how a beneficiaries receives their inheritance, in which case we can use our knowledge to create a plan which covers all your needs as part of our Estate Planning packages.
Do I need a will?
YOU NEED A WILL IF…
- You are married or in a civil partnership and there are no children. While assets will automatically pass to your spouse on death, you will need to plan what happens to those assets once the surviving spouse pass on.
- You are married or in a civil partnership and there are children. If you would like to leave something to your children or grandchildren you will need a Will to ensure that.
- You have a partner but are not married or in a civil partnership.
- There is no surviving spouse/civil partner.
- You have property, especially property abroad
- Your estate is worth more than £325,000 and has to pay Inheritance Tax
- You have a complicated family situation, like former partners or estranged children, and you want to be sure that your estate can be divided as you wish
- You want to protect someone’s interests after you’ve gone, like a disabled family member
A Will can also cover:
- What happens to personal items such as jewellery, photographs and antiques
- Provisions for your pets when you pass on such as who would look after them and money towards their ongoing care
- What you would like to happen to any digital profiles such as your Facebook account
- Contain passwords and passcodes for phones and accounts which your loved ones may need in the event of your death
- Plans for your funeral, such as whether you’d like to be buried, cremated or particular music you’d like played during the service
Can I write my own will?
Yes, in straightforward circumstances it is possible to write your own will. For example, if you’re married or in a civil partnership and have children, and want to leave everything to your spouse and eventually on your children. However, there are specific ways things have to be written and witnessed to avoid your will being declared invalid. And inheritance laws and tax can change after you write your will, disrupting how your estate is distributed. Writing your own will runs the risk of leaving a mess and additional stress for your loved ones to sort out after you pass.
Should I use a do-it-yourself will writing service?
Online will writing services and do-it-yourself will kits seem like a cheap and easy to create a will. As with writing your own will, these are sufficient for simple situations but everyone’s circumstances are different, and an out-of-the-box approach may not be right for you. Your will only comes into play once, so to avoid any difficulties it’s best to take professional advice.
What happens if I don’t have a Will?
If your will isn’t valid then what happens to your is decided by the rules of intestacy via the courts. Under these laws, only married or civil partners and some other close relatives can inherit. The rules of intestacy state that:
If there are surviving children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren of the person who died and the estate is valued at more than £250,000, the partner will inherit:
- all the personal property and belongings of the person who has died,
and the first £250,000 of the estate
- And half of the remaining estate
- The remaining half will be shared between any surviving children, or on to grandchildren or great-grandchildren if their parents are no longer around.
If you are not married or have children, then the estate will pass to the closest relative, which could be parents, siblings or even nieces or nephews.
- Start by thinking about what you want to leave to whom
- Talk to your family – they might have some suggestions you haven’t thought of such inheriting property over money or vice versa, or there might be particular personal belongings and family heirlooms they’d like to inherit.
- Consider whether you’d like to make a donation to charity or organisation.
Think about who you’d like to be your executor or executors, you can choose a family member but comes with a lot of responsibility so pick those who have the skills to take this on.
- Think about your funeral, whether you would like to be buried or cremated, what music or readings you would like included.
- Get in contact with us, and we will sit down with you and help you put together your plan.