Making a Will…..if not now, when?

9 September 2022

If I had a pound for every time a client said “I’ve been meaning to make a Will for years!” I would be rich indeed! As an Associate Solicitor in the Private Client team at Redkite Solicitors my job is, put simply, to help you make the process of writing your Will as stress free as possible.

Everyone should have a Will; no matter how old you are or what you own. You might think to yourself, ‘but I don’t even own a home’ but ask yourself; do you have children, own a car, jewellery, a pet, a drum kit?! All of these things would need to be addressed if you died and that’s where a Will comes in very useful.

Having a Will ensures that your money, possessions, pets, property and whatever else is important to you goes to the people you want them to go to. A Will can also be used to appoint Guardian(s) for your children should they be under 18 at the time of your death.

You can even insert funeral wishes into your Will. So why not guarantee putting a smile on your loved one’s faces by making them sing a particular song at your funeral? ‘Simply the best!’

A Will can be as simple or as detailed as you want it to be and a carefully planned Will can also help reduce tax liabilities upon your death.

Without a Will sorting out your affairs becomes a lot more complicated, expensive and time consuming, not to mention distressing for your loved ones because they cannot follow what they believe your wishes would have been. In this situation, the law decides who gets what, children, pets, property, everything. Everything you have could go to the wrong person unless you have left clear instructions in a Will.

Part of my job is dealing with the estates of deceased clients and this is always easier for the people involved when a Will has been made. I advise executors and administrators of estates of all sizes who are applying for Probate, the term commonly used to describe the legal process for applying for the right to deal with a deceased person’s affairs where they have left a Will or letters of administration where there is no Will. I also act as an Executor or Trustee sometimes helping to ensure someone’s last wishes are respected.

Lasting Powers of Attorney

Another important thing to consider is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). An LPA is designed to allow you to appoint people to make decisions on your behalf on financial and welfare issues during your lifetime.

The financial LPA ‘does what it says on the tin’. It allows your attorneys to make decisions in relation to your finances and property, with you or instead of you should you become incapable of dealing with your own affairs.

The health and care LPA comes into its own if you lose the capacity to make decisions for yourself. Your wishes can be made clear to your attorneys now so that, in the future, they can make a range of decisions concerning your living accommodation and care, medical treatment, and day to day welfare.

A lot of my job deals with things people don’t want to think about, their own mortality, grief, sadness, but what I would say is this; the best thing you can do for the people you leave behind is to make your wishes clear, now, by way of LPAs and a legally binding Will!

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.