I’m only 35!

Feel like you’re too young to even consider writing a will, or are you over 50 and think you’ve left it too late? Well contrary to popular belief, you’re never too young or too old to write your will and consider how you would like your assets to be divided in the event of your death.

It’s not always something pleasant to consider but writing a will is simply about putting your wishes down in writing. It shouldn’t be stressful or agonising, although in some instances there are multiple considerations to make.

Writing you will in your younger years will inevitably mean you will need to update it at some point based on your personal situation such as marriage, children and even divorce. This shouldn’t be seen as a hassle because the groundwork is already there, you are simply altering your requests based on your current situation.

When contacting our team to discuss your will we can also advice on other services such as inheritance tax planning, Lasting Powers of Attorney and trusts, which again you may not have considered. Having an understanding of the services that can benefit you, either now or in the future, allows you to make more informed decision, particularly at the time of writing your will.

Why make a will?

Without writing a Will you have no control over who will receive any property, money and personal items after your death.

A lot of people don’t realise that a surviving spouse doesn’t automatically receive all of a husband or wide’s estate. Therefore, whilst dealing with the death of a loved one can also lead to financial hardship and the people you may have wanted to benefit from your property and assets may not receive anything.

People who die without a Will are leaving complications and costs to their family and friends and often unintentionally gift thousands of pounds to HMRC in inheritance tax.

When should I make a will?

Wills are not just for the elderly and every adult should have a Will, especially if any of the following apply:

  • You have Children.
  • You are married or separating after a marriage
  • You co-habit, have a long term partner or are in a same sex couple
  • You have assets over £325,000, Business Interests or Agricultural Interests
  • You wish to specifically benefit / exclude a family member
  • You have retired
What can I include in a Will?

A Will includes as much or as little information as is necessary depending on your personal situation. A will is a good opportunity to state your wishes for other matters such as:

  • Appoint Guardians for Children – often no provision is made for parental control of minor children, which can lead to disputes through the courts. In a Will, should the worst occur, you can specify who you would like to raise your children and make financial provision to assist with living costs.
  • Protect Property from Care Home Fees – As an ageing population, more of us are requiring residential care. At an average of £600 per week, people are seeing savings and property whittled away by the cost of care. Steps can be taken safeguard your property as part of your will.
  • Specify Funeral arrangements – Often people like to specify funeral requests under a Will to relieve family members from having to make tough, emotional choices once they have passed away.
How often should I review my Will?

As a rule of thumb you should consider whether your Will matches your personal circumstances every 5 – 10 years. You may find that nothing needs changing or you may see it as a good opportunity to update certain elements in relation to your current situation.

Some examples of where you should look to review your Will:

  • Moving property
  • Separation or Divorce
  • Retirement
  • Children are now adults
  • Births, deaths or marriages
  • Change in financial circumstances
Why use a Solicitor for writing a Will?

People’s financial and family circumstances are becoming increasingly more complex and we are seeing increasing numbers of second or third marriages, adopted children and family disputes. Therefore it is important that you Will reflects your wishes.

It is also important that a professional Solicitor draws up your Will based on your tailored circumstances. There is no such thing as a generic Will and a Will Writer who is offering something which seems too be good to be true, generally is.

The administration of your estate should not become a problem for your bereaved family. There are many factors to be taken into consideration when planning your Will and it is important that you take qualified legal advice and invest appropriate time. Don’t leave your family to argue over your estate, face long expensive Court hearings and become divided.

Our specialist Wills team includes members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) Solicitors for the Elderly and the Law Society’s Private Client Section and have considerable experience in drawing up Wills and estate planning.

Case Study

Mrs A had recently married for the second time (marriage always revokes a previous will) and she had adult children from her first marriage.

She also owned her own house and this was her main asset. Mrs A wanted to make sure that, on her death; her new husband would be able to stay in the house if he wished to do so but that, on his death, the house would pass to her children.

We were able to explain to Mrs A the various options available to her to protect both her new husband and her adult children. We were then able to prepare a Will for Mrs A which provided for Mr A to remain in the property but added various safeguards to protect her asset. The Will outlined that Mr A had to keep the property in good repair and manage the property’s outgoings so that it would still be a valuable asset when it eventually passed to her children.

We were also able to safeguard the property if Mr A were to remarry or cohabit after Mrs A’s death.

In this way Mrs A was able to have peace of mind that she had made suitable provision for all her family in the event of her death.