Currently in England and Wales only around 30% of people have made a will. For those who have, 2 out of every 3 are out of date. This means that many bereaved families have the additional stress of working out how their family wished for their estate to be dealt with.
A will is a legally binding document that specifies exactly what you want to happen to your money and property after your death. It can set out your arrangements for the care of your children, allows you to make provisions for your dependants, bequests to family, friends and charities and can specify the arrangements for your funeral. If you own property in more than one country, you may need a valid will for each country to ensure your estate passes to your beneficiaries.
Some of the excuses people give for not making a will are:
- I have nothing to leave of value, only debts.
- I’m not married.
- It costs too much.
- I haven’t decided who I want to leave my money to.
If you don’t make a will, ultimately your assets could pass to the Treasury. In 2013 they received £53m from people who did not leave a will.
So it’s vitally important that you get it right.
If you don’t make a will your wishes can be ignored or may not be followed. If it is not done properly, your wishes may not be understood and your estate could pass to someone you wouldn’t choose or even to the Crown. We can ensure that your wishes are legally binding and help you think through all the considerations.
We will make sure your will is properly executed and legally binding. In most cases, clients prefer us to store the original and give them a complete copy.
What happens if my circumstances change?
Any change in personal circumstances, such as getting married, separated or divorced, having children, moving house or cohabiting may mean that your will may need to be updated to reflect your new circumstances. People who cohabit, or marry for a second time and have a second family can create more complicated situations.
If your circumstances have changed, we can review your will with you, and advise on the best way of making any changes.
Our experienced and sympathetic team of experts never forgets the great importance and personal significance of your final wishes – and we’re here to help you tailor your will to suit your particular circumstances.
We don’t sell our clients a set precedent. We take care to understand your personal circumstances – sometimes playing devil’s advocate – and tailor a will to suit your individual situation.