It is essential for everyone to make a will, even if you consider you do not have many possessions or much money. There are many reasons for this including:
- If you die without a will, the law dictates how your estate is allocated. This may not be as you wish
- You do not inherit from an unmarried partner automatically. Living together does not count unless you are in a legal partnership such as marriage or a civil partnership. The death of one partner can create serious problems for the other.
- You need to make arrangements for your children, who would you like to look after them. It may not be the person allocated by law, particularly if you are not in a legal partnership.
- If you have separated but are still married/in a civil partnership, you may not want your estate to go to your ex-partner who lives with someone else
There is no requirement to use a solicitor to make a valid Will. If you wish to make a will yourself, you can do. You can get a Will made by a will writer, buy a Will Pack from the supermarket or download a form from the internet with which to make your own DIY Will. So why should you pay a professional to make one?
It is easy to make mistakes when drawing up a Will. Any error can result in considerable legal costs, which then reduces the amount in your estate. A Solicitor is aware of the formal requirements to make a legally valid will, from wording which makes clear your intentions, along with correct witnessing and signatures on your Will. One incorrect word or spelling mistake can change the destination of your assets which may be against your intended wishes. Incorrect witnessing of a will can make it invalid.
A will can be challenged following your death if there is reasonable doubt about the circumstances under which the Will was made. Making a will through a Solicitor can prove that
- you were not under pressure from anyone else to make the will
- You had sufficient mental capacity at the time the will was made
This is particularly important if you are distributing your assets against usual inheritance law. We ensure that the Will is valid and have documented evidence that you have mental capacity and were not under any pressure. DIY wills may not be able to provide this evidence should a challenge arise.
We also have the experience to properly advise on inheritance tax, setting up trusts and how to protect vulnerable beneficiaries. It is possible to reduce the amount of tax payable if advice is taken in advance.
At Druitts we can store your original Will safely and can register your will on the national Will database. We can give you a copy with the information about the storage of the original. Its important that your Will is kept safe as the copy is not a valid document, should the original be destroyed or damaged your estate may be distributed according to law and not your wishes.