While death is a subject that people do not like, it is important that intentions are clear when writing a Will. If you thought that writing a Will is something only people over a certain do, you need to think again. The truth is that there is no right age for this and if you have anything of value that you want your family to have, you need to write a Will.
Do You Really Need a Will?
If you live with a partner, are a business owner, own an estate or have children, you already have a good reason to write a Will. A Will protects your loved ones in the event of your death and ensures that certain issues are taken care of, such as inheritance tax.
Who Can Be Included in a Will?
You can include anyone you want in your Will. You could include nominated charities, or your pet or your relatives who you want to benefit from what you have. If you have some family heirlooms or sentimental objects, you can detail who you want these items to be left to.
How Do You Get Your Will Written?
There are several ways that you can go about getting your Will written depending on your financial situation and personal requirements. The first is to contact an expert who can explain probate and cater to all of your needs. These professionals can handle simple estates as well as more complicated cases. The price you pay varies depending on your requirements, but generally starts at £750 including VAT.
You could also contact a specialist Will writing service. These services charge at least £75 increasing with your requirements. You can also use a basic template which can be purchased from most stationary stores for around £10.
Who Should Carry Out the Terms of Your Will?
The most obvious choice to carry out your wishes might be your spouse or children, but you might want to consider an impartial executor. This will help to avoid any potential conflict between your executor and those listed in your Will. This is particularly important if there are any rivalries already present. Hiring a professional will also help you avoid some of the pitfalls of the probate process.
While you have to consider carefully who your executor is, you also need to appoint a guardian if you have children who are under the age of 18. These people will look after your children until they become adults.
What Happens if You Do Not Have a Will?
There are several intestacy rules that will automatically be applied if you die without a Will. When this happens, you will be considered as intestate. In this circumstance, the following will generally occur:
• Your spouse and children will automatically receive your possessions and a minimum of £250,000 of your estate.
• If you do not have any children, your spouse will inherit the above.
• If you are unmarried, your long-term partner does not automatically get any of your estate regardless of whether you have children together.
• If you do not have a spouse or partner, your children will receive everything and it will be divided evenly between them.
• If you do not have a spouse, partner or children, your estate will go to your other living relatives such as parents, siblings, nieces and nephews.
Do You Need a Probate Expert to Carry Out Your Will?
You do not have to employ a probate solicitor to carry out your wishes after your death. However, not doing so could result in claims being made against your estate. It is also possible that your Will is contested completely.
The latter can often occur when you have a DIY Will. The people contesting the Will can argue that you did not fully understand the legal terminology being used. This can lead to your Will being reversed and intestate rules being used instead or your estate being left to someone you did not want. A Will with a probate expert does not generally face these issues or has fewer.