October is classed as Free Wills Month: This is your chance to update or write your Will for free. An up to date Will written by a solicitor ensures your wishes are respected. It also avoids tricky decisions and legal complexities for your loved ones. Free Wills Month allows you to provide for family and friends and leave a gift to your chosen charities too.
If you have written a will already, then you have made a great start in ensuring that your intentions, both financial and otherwise, are carried out as you would have wished after your death.
The thing is though, JMR Solicitors read that 42% of UK adults haven’t got a will, according to a Jan 2018 survey by Macmillan Cancer Support. That’s a huge number of people who could leave their affairs unsettled, and with October’s free Wills month, around the corner, we’d like to discuss the importance of having a will, and keeping it up to date.
The act of making a will, certainly, places you in a fairly small share of people in the UK whose estate should avoid intestacy laws. However, making one will to last you your entire life might not be adequate. Momentous changes happen and it’s likely you’ll have thought of new items to add or remove from your Will, between the time at which you write your will first time and the time of your death, and these may well influence the content of the document.
As a result, it is extremely important that you keep your will up to date. With free wills month in October, we invite everyone to book in for getting their will created from scratch or updated.
Soap Opera, Coronation Street showed the impact of not updating your will, earlier this year
In May and June 2018 episodes of Coronation Street, we saw that they were tackling the difficult storyline of male mental health with the story of Aidan Connor, a factory owner who committed suicide.
It showed that he left his shares in the family company to his business partner rather than to his relations. When he made the will he held an 18 per cent stake in the company but by the time of his death he owned the entire factory thanks to a gift from his half-sister, Carla.
His bereaved father was urged to contest the will on the basis that Aidan “was not of sound mind” when he made the will. This happens in real life situations too. Keeping an up to date will is important – and with October’s Free Will month, you can update you Will for free.
Life Events are usually a good time to update your will
It is commonly advised that you should assess the content of your will at the time of a main ‘life event’. These events can be referring to:
- Change in your financial circumstances;
- the birth of a child;
- the death of a close relative;
- a change in your living arrangements;
- a marriage, civil partnership or divorce.
These events will make you want to reconsider your will as it may change your circumstances, and intentions on disbursement of your estate within your will.
Keep your Will up to date
Keeping your will up to date is, in our opinion, of equivalent importance to making the document in the first place. Undeniably, if you don’t ensure that your Will is as current as possible, it may cause serious legal problems after your death.
If, for example, you are unmarried at the time of writing your Will, but then you get married a couple of years later, and there is no mention of the marriage in the document, then there is a possibility that the whole document will be declared invalid, and that your estate will be dealt with according to the laws of intestacy.
In the same way, if you have a child after writing your Will, they may not automatically become a beneficiary even if you have named your other children in your will.
Free Wills Months – in England, Scotland & Wales
October 2018 welcomes the Free Wills Month. The Free Wills Month offers – as the name suggests – free solicitor-drafted Wills. Anyone can write their Will through the Free Wills Network–You must be over the age of 55 and a Solicitor who is a part of Free Wills Month network can draft the Will document for you.
November 2018 also welcomes Will Aid whereby a Will can be drafted for you for free if you come through Will Aid. There are no age restrictions and it is suggested that you make a voluntary donation to nine of the supported charities by the organisation.
JMR Solicitors are taking part in the Free Wills Month in Manchester in both October and November – Contact us if you wish to discuss a Will you have already written or would like to create a new Will throughout this period on 0161 491 3933.