Wills are an incredibly important thing to have, whatever your age. If you want to ensure your possessions and property can be handed down to your loved ones, having a will written sooner than later could prove to be invaluable. Whilst it’s not something people like to think about, a will can ensure that your wishes be carried out should you pass away.
If you don’t have a will, the Rules of Intestacy will be used to decide who will receive your property and possessions. The problem with this is that these rules were drawn up in 1925 and as a result, do not reflect or consider modern living arrangements. For example, the Rules of Intestacy do not take into account unmarried partners or step children – having a will is therefore completely essential if this would affect your family.
Here are some essential tips for planning a will.
Have your will professionally written
Wills are an important legal document, and the repercussions of not having one written by a professional could be severe. When considering that your will could affect the family you leave behind, it pays to have your will seen to by an expert. Whilst you may see DIY will packs being sold, it’s important that you understand that even the smallest mistakes could make things extremely complicated. Making a will through an expert service will ensure that nothing will be forgotten.
Remember who matters to you
When drawing up a will, it’s vital that you carefully consider who you need to include. By using professional will writing services, you can discuss the best ways to ensure that everyone you have listed are taken care of. Professionals can also advise the best way for you to reduce your liability to inheritance tax so that your family can get as much as possible. It is also a good idea to think about a charity you may want to donate to as your legacy gift is not subject to inheritance tax.
Keep your will up to date
If you’ve already had a will drawn up, it’s essential that you keep it updated. Whilst you may think this is unnecessary, a change in circumstances could in some cases render your will invalid. It is therefore of the utmost importance that you review your will after any serious life-changing events. Co-Op Legal Services recommend that you update your will every 5 years to make sure that it properly reflects your wishes.
Appoint executors to your estate
To ensure that the details of your will are carried out, you need to appoint an executor. An executor can be anyone from a family member, friend or solicitor. Whilst it may seem like a good idea to have a friend be your executor, having to deal with your passing may interrupt their ability to execute your will. Having a professional lay executor will ensure that everything will be done properly.
For more advice on making a will, contact Co-Op Legal Services.