Death might be the last thing on your mind. However, you need to state your intentions clearly on how your estate will be distributed to your loved ones. That’s where a Will comes in handy. You need to work on your Will immediately if you don’t have one. It shouldn’t be left until you are old. With a Will, you can guarantee that your family is protected even when you pass on.
Is a Will Really Important?
There are valid reasons for you to have a Will. For instance, do you have an estate? Do you have children? Do you live with your partner? Are you a business owner? Well, you need to have a Will. If you have a Will, your loved ones will be protected. Even better, issues such as inheritance tax will be completely taken care of.
Who Can Be Included in the Will?
You’re free to add anyone you want in your Will. You can add your favourite charity, your pets, your relatives and anyone else you want to benefit from your wealth. If you have any objects of sentimental value or heirlooms, you can write out exactly who you want to receive them after you pass on.
How Can You Get Started on Your Will?
You can start writing your Will immediately but mostly it depends on your personal preferences and your current financial situation. Here are some of the options available to you.
a) Contact a probate expert who can handle all your Will writing needs, including being the executor of Will if required. He/she should be able to handle any small estates as well as complex cases. Prices might vary depending on your exact requirements but you can always research and get the most affordable one for your needs. (At least £780 with VAT)
b) You can also choose an expert Will-writing service at the cost of at least £75.
c) You can also use a template document which can be found in your local stationary stores for as little as £10.
Who Is Responsible For Carrying Out the Wishes in a Will?
Spouses, children or siblings are the top choices for carrying out the wishes outlined in the Will. However, it’s prudent to hire an impartial executor who will mediate any conflicts that might arise. Chances are there might be some sibling rivalry. In such an event, a professional will also help mitigate the challenges that come with the probate process.
Besides choosing the executor of your Will, you need to choose what to do if there are minors involved. For instance, if your have children who are under 18 years of age, you need to appoint someone as their guardian. Once you are done, make sure your Will is stored properly and the executor should be aware of the location.
What Happens if There’s No Will
If you die and there is no Will in place, there are a few rules of intestacy that will be applicable.
a) Children and spouses will receive your personal possessions. Also, they should receive at least £250,000 from your estate.
b) If you don’t have children, your spouse inherits everything.
c) If you are not married but have a long-term partner, they will not receive anything.
d) If there is no spouse or partner, the children inherit everything and your estate will be divided equally among them.
e) If you don’t have a spouse, partner or children, your estate goes to the closest relatives such as siblings, nephews, parents or nieces.
Is a Probate Expert Really Necessary?
As mentioned, you don’t really have to hire a solicitor to carry out your wishes upon your death. However, failure to do so might results in claims against your estate. Even worse your Will might be contested by everyone supposed to inherit the property. It’s a lot more common with DIY Wills. In most cases, a lot of people don’t understand the legal terminologies so they end up losing because of this. To be on the safe side, you need to hire a probate expert or solicitor who can execute your Will upon your death. Also, in the event that it’s contested, the legal expert will handle this effortlessly.