Making it easy to make a will

Tuesday, 7th March 2017 | General | 0 comments

One in five adults don't have a will, and as a result on average a whopping £8 million worth of property goes to the UK government mistakenly evey year, against the wishes of deceased individuals. Why does this happen? 

This happened because the property belonged to people who had died ‘intestate’- without having a will. This is why it is crucially important to have a will in place before the time of your death.

But making a will is messy, complicated and completely boring. Right?

Wrong! Making a will is a really simple thing to do. It takes less than 2 hours to write and sign, and will be with you for the rest of your life.

Do I actually need a will – won’t my family will sort my affairs?

Possibly. If you die without a will your affairs can be in fluctuation for years. We understand that thinking about your death can be incredibly depressing, and that you may be worried about the cost of making said will. Yet without making your wishes known this could leave behind big problems; coupled with years of anguish and grief for your loved ones. If there’s no will the next of kin need to apply for a ‘grant of representation’ or ‘grant of probate’; which gives them the legal right to access things like the deceased’s bank account- which can take time.

Why should I make a will?

There are a number of reasons why you should make a will, and we’ve explained some of the more frequent reasons below:

  • Many people choose to write a will to make provision for their children or grandchildren. If you have children or step-children under 18 a will can help state who will look after them, and ensure that there are funds to help with their up-bringing.
  • If you are unmarried and don’t have a will the law unfortunately doesn’t recognise this. If you don’t have a will your partner generally won’t receive anything after you have gone.
  • If you are divorced you may want to think about updating your will to reflect your changed circumstances; especially if you or your previous spouse has remarried.
  • If you have specific wishes for what happens after you die e.g. funeral plans/burial arrangements/even a special song to be played at your funeral; it’s best to record this in black and white.
  • If you have a ‘joint tenant’ mortgage this automatically passes to the other owner in the event of your death. However if you have a ‘tenants in common’ mortgage it’s really vital  to state what should happen to your share of the property, in the event of your death. With a will you can make this crucial provision for your loved ones.

How will a will protect my final wishes?

So to put it simply, a will does the following:

  1. Names your executors; the (reliable) people you want to represent and uphold your wishes after your death. You can also choose a solicitor or financial advisor, but it’s best to name a firm rather than an individual as people do move jobs.
  2. Distributes your estate; this ensures that your wishes are followed through and that people receive what you want them to receive.
  3. To provide support for children.
  4. If you die without a will, (intestate), there are strict rules about to whom and how your estate is distributed. The money may end up exactly where you don’t want it and it’s likely to be inefficient for inheritance tax purposes.

How can North West Cancer Research help?

We have partnered with McClure Solicitors to provide free will writing and will re-writing services for all of our supporters. We want to ensure that people can easily and quickly make legally binding wills. This will avoid many of the problems listed above and ensure that upon death your wishes are valid and carried out how you intended.

If you’d like to book an appointment at our will clinic, or would like more information about wills in general, contact Jennifer Higgs today. Or call 0151 709 2919.

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