More than half (59%) of adults have not made a Will according to a survey carried out by Prudential and Unbiased.co.uk. This is alarming considering the current pandemic.
Making a Will is necessary for peace of mind, not just for yourself but for your loved ones as well. This becomes even more vital if you have dependants or have family members with health conditions. Here we look at some of the reasons you may consider updating your Will and some reasons why people delay making or updating a Will:
Here are some signals for you to update a will:
- When you purchase property
- When you move in with someone
- If you are getting married or entering a civil partnership
- When you are getting divorced or getting remarried
- When you have children or if you are adopting children
- If you decide to settle abroad
- If you fear for your health, become ill or degenerating capacity
- If you receive a large sum of money or inheritance
- When you retire
- If you are entering a nursing or care home
So, what are some of the reasons people do not make or update wills?
Some clients put off making or updating a Will as they put it off thinking they will do it later. Or they might feel they do not have the money available to pay the solicitor fees.
Sometimes some clients will say they don’t like to think about death or that they don’t know where to start.
Others have told us that they simply cannot be bothered with the paperwork.
We believe it is important to know the implications of not having a valid Will in place.
What happens if I do not make a Will?
If you fail to make a valid Will before you die, then your assets will be dealt with under the ‘laws of intestacy.’
Another scenario to bear in mind is that without a Will, there is a possibility that your spouse or civil partner may not get any inheritance or any of the estate. If you and your partner are not married, then they will not be entitled to anything and could potentially lose their home!
Without a Will you cannot make your wishes known, and no gifts can be given from your personal belongings or money to charity.
Another important aspect that is affected is your children – without a Will, within which you can appoint guardians for children under the age of 18, social services could get involved in making the decisions of where your children will live.
More adults are wanting to make or update their Wills during this pandemic, with good intention and we agree that this is necessary during these times.
We recommend that you don’t draft a DIY Will at home as there are errors that can be made within the Will which can end up costing you more in the long run.
Some errors that can be made in a DIY Will can be:
- The absence of executors or the ones selected no longer survive
- Beneficiaries are not stated clearly leading to court processes
- Documents are not stored in a fireproof location so can be lost or destroyed
- You have not stated what may happen if a beneficiary dies before you
- Ambiguous wording or instructions
- The document is not signed property
- The absence of appointing guardians for under aged children
- There are other errors apart from those listed that can be made in a DIY Will
It can cost more money than making a Will with a solicitor, to rectify some errors in a DIY Will. Some of the above errors will need court processes to rectify.
Having a professional solicitor draw up your Will can help you access further important information about your potential Inheritance Tax position, what claims there may be on your estate and how you might want to address funding for future care costs. We can discuss all aspects of a Will with you so that you are confident that the Will is error-free.
Contact JMR Solicitors to update your Will professionally
JMR Solicitors continue to work throughout the lockdown remotely –our staff are on hand to provide you with up-to-date legal advice. To discuss any Wills and Probate matters, contact JMR solicitors on 0161 491 3933 or email email@example.com.