19 Oct Top Tips for Writing your Will By Linder Myers Solicitors Hampshire
Top tips for writing your will
Approximately 61% of the UK population do not make a Will:
- Nobody likes to even think about passing away; and
- Many people believe that they don’t need to make a Will.
However, a professionally written Will is one of the most important documents to make in your lifetime.
If you do not make a Will, in certain circumstances your property and/or money may not go to the person who you want to benefit. The intestacy rules will apply but these are not necessarily just and fair. For example, your husband, wife or civil partner may not inherit all of your estate. (For further information on intestacy see here).
Here are some top tips for writing your Will and what you need to consider when making your Will.
Use a solicitor specialising in Wills
- Use a solicitor that you can trust to give the best possible service during this time
- Linder Myers solicitors have qualified, experienced legal advisers who specialise in preparing Wills
- Linder Myers solicitors will happily provide answers to questions and explain ‘legal jargon’
- Linder Myers solicitors will go above and beyond to make sure that you’re satisfied with the finished document
Prevent complications on your Will
- It is important to seek legal advice if, for example, you are not married to your partner, and/or you have children from a previous marriage or relationship.
- In this type of scenario, the intestacy rules will often mean that if you pass away without a Will, your property/money won’t go to the person you believed it would be given to.
- Unless it is a civil partnership, same sex partners are not recognised by the law under the rules of intestacy
- Linder Myers solicitors will advise and guide you on how making a Will can make a difference in your case.
Choose Executors for your Will
- An executor is essential as they will administer all the affairs of your estate
- They also pay the taxes and debts, release assets and distribute the estate
- Choose substitute executors – occasionally executors pass away before you, or are just unable/unwilling to act
- Having a loved one as an executor may be a difficult task for them to deal with. If Linder Myers solicitors are appointed as your executor, we would charge a reasonable fee for our services, and provide these advantages:
- Our solicitors know what to do to administer an estate speedily and effectively
- We have indemnity insurance to protect your estate
- Our firm has nearly 70 years’ experience
- Executors can be exposed to, and be personally liable, in respect of claims against the estate such as:
- Missing beneficiaries
- Inheritance Act claims
- Overpayments of benefit by the Department from Work and Pensions
Choose Dependable Trustees for your Will
- Normally the executors named in the Will are also appointed as the Trustees
- A trustee is someone who is responsible for your money in a trust for a beneficiary
- They are in charge of managing this money, and must abide by any rules of the trust
- Frequently a person will serve as both a trustee and a guardian, but this isn’t advisable due to a potential conflict of interest.
- It’s good to appoint a few trustees to act jointly; preferably organised, reliable people
Assign Legal Guardians for your Will
- Over 76% of parents in the UK leave their children vulnerable by not making a Will
- In your Will you can protect your children from facing an uncertain future
- If you have children under 18, it’s your responsibility to assign suitable guardians
- You will secure their future, and Linder Myers solicitors will answer any queries you have on guardianship
Consider Substitute Beneficiaries for your Will
- If a beneficiary pre-deceases you, it’s best to have a substitute beneficiary as otherwise the Intestacy rules will apply
- In life anything can happen and it is best to cover all bases because sometimes the unexpected does happen
Focus on Care Home Fees
- Many people worry about selling their home to cover the high cost of care homes
- If you have over £23,250 in assets, you’ll be expected to pay all care home fees
- Some measures can be taken against the fees in your Will through careful planning – at Linder Myers our qualified legal advisers can discuss suitable options
- If you have a close relative or partner who still living at your home, this won’t be used towards care costs.
Query Inheritance Tax
- Inheritance tax is paid (at 40%) after you pass on assets worth more than £325,000
- Most people need to pay, but there can be ways to limit how much you’re liable for
- On the death of a surviving spouse, the nil rate band of £325,000 of the first spouse to pass away can be transferred to the estate of the surviving spouse – this means that no Inheritance Tax will be paid unless the net estate is worth over £650,000.
Sign Your Will
- Your signature must be in the presence of two witnesses who are over 18 and who are not beneficiaries under the terms of your Will
- Linder Myers will supply the witnesses – no witnesses mean the Will isn’t legally binding
- The Linder Myers solicitor who drafted your Will can be one of your witnesses
- You will need to sign your Will first, followed by the witnesses – the witnesses are not required to read the Will.
Safely Store your Will Documents
- Keeping your Will safe after it has been completed is of the utmost importance
- If your family can’t find the Will after you pass, this could create legal complications
- Ensure that your family know where the Will it is kept and write down the location
- There’s no law about where you should keep a Will, but it’s wise to store it somewhere fireproof.
Keep us Updated should your Will need to change
- If circumstances change, amend your Will to keep loved ones and assets protected
- Wills need reviewing regularly – out of date Wills can be worse than not making one
- If, after making a Will, you marry or remarry, it’s important to make a new version
- You may also alter it due to a beneficiary/trustee passing, or just a change of mind
- At Linder Myers our solicitors understand the importance of a Will, and offer a personal tailored service.
Those are out top tips for writing your Will, thank you for reading.
Linder Myers Solicitors provide a quick professional service and fair fixed fees. You could take good use of the Limited Time Wills Special Offer with Single Wills from £195 plus VAT and Double Wills from £350 plus VAT.
Give yourself peace of mind and your family a future safety net by organising for your estate to be passed onto those you love the most. Call our Wills experts Paul Harvey and Joanna Milner at the Southampton office today for more information about writing your Will on 02382 148019.