Why do I need a will?
Estate Planning is important whether or not you consider you have many possessions or much money. It is important to make a will because:
- If you die without a will, there are certain rules which dictate how the money, property or possessions should be allocated. This may not offer you the asset protection you need as the rules may not allow for the way that you would have wished your money and possessions to be distributed.
- Unmarried partners and partners who have not registered a civil partnership cannot inherit from each other unless there is a will, so the death of one partner may create serious financial problems for the remaining partner.
- If you have children, you will need to make a will so that arrangements for the children can be made if either one or both parents die.
- It may be possible to reduce the amount of tax payable on the inheritance if advice is taken in advance and a will is made.
- If your circumstances have changed, it is important that you make a will to ensure that your money and possessions are distributed according to your wishes. for example, if you have separated and your ex-partner now lives with someone else, you may want to change your will. If you are married or enter into a registered civil partnership, this will make any previous will you have made invalid.
Why you should use a professional estate planner.
If you wish to make a will yourself, you can do so. However, you should only consider doing this if the will is going to be very straightforward. Also, consider the 'save now, pay later principal'. Is it worth saving a couple of hundred pounds now, only for a will to be unfit for purpose? Would you change the brakes on your own car if you didn't know what you are doing? or would you pay somebody to do it properly? It is always advisable to use a a professional estate planner to make sure a will will have the effect you want. This is because it is easy to make mistakes and, if there are errors in the will, this can cause problems after your death. Sorting out misunderstandings and disputes after your death may result in considerable legal costs, which will reduce the amount of money in the estate. There is no need for a will to be drawn up or witnessed by a solicitor. Using a Solicitor is far more expensive in most cases, and we are professionals that specialise in wills, LPAs and Trusts. Some common mistakes in making a will are:
- Not being aware of the formal requirements needed to make a will legally valid.
- Failing to take account of all the money and property available.
- Failing to take account of the possibility that a beneficiary may die before the person making the will.
- Changing the will. If these alterations are not signed and witnessed, they are invalid.
- Being unaware of the effect of marriage, a registered civil partnership, divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership on a will.
- being unaware of the rules which exist to enable dependants to claim from the estate if they believe they are not adequately provided for. These rules mean that the provisions in the will could be overturned.
- Being unaware of the rules which exist to enable dependants to claim from the estate if they believe they are not adequately provided for. These rules mean that the provisions in the will could be overturned.
There are some circumstances when it is particularly advisable to use Maplebrook Wills. These are where:
- You share a property with someone who is not your husband, wife or civil partner
- You wish to make provision for a dependent who is unable to care for themselves
- There are several family members who may make a claim on the will, for example, a second wife or children from a first marriage
- Your permanent home is not in the United Kingdom
- You are resident here but there is overseas property involved
- There is a business involved
What is a Codicil?
A codicil is an amendment to an existing will and is usually only used to make minor amendments rather than any significant changes.