The benefits of writing a Will
Most people in the UK tend to put off this task. It can be costly, tedious and it is a little bit morbid to make plans based on one’s demise. A lot of people do not know where to start or understand what is involved. On the other hand, the repercussions from failing to make a Will can have on close relatives and your partner is undeniable, and it sure needs your attention.
By making the necessary arrangements you can ensure that the distribution of your assets runs smoothly and according to your wishes, it can be vitally important to prevent the state from making that decision for you. We´re not just referring to tangible assets, the legal custody of children is also at stake here. We want to guide you through the benefits of writing a Will in these modern times. We want you to look out and stay ahead of the legal disadvantages of not making a Will and maybe save yourself some money while doing it.
Benefits of having a Will
The first positive aspect of having a Will written is that you get to make all the decisions involving finances and guardians. Mothers get automatic parental responsibility as well as fathers on the birth certificate or when married at the time of birth. You have the opportunity to indicate in your Will who’s going to take care of your children, should no parent with parental responsibility survive yourself.
Writing a Will also gives you the authority to nominate who should execute such Will. So you can designate someone you absolutely trust to carry out the responsibility of this role, but we recommend talking to them about it first.
You can also rest assured that in the event of your passing, your wishes Will be carefully fulfilled by a professional, a relative or close friend. Planning within a Will can go way beyond financial matters, and modern times have redefined the concept of funeral wishes. Many options, from being planted as a tree to getting your ashes thrown in the ocean can be included in your Will.
What happens if I choose not to write a Will?
If you pass without a valid Will, intestacy laws will be used, which is the legal term for a set of predetermined rules that decide who gets your possessions. Who takes care of your children would be decided by a Court. Not having a say in that can make it incredibly upsetting and stressful for your family to assume control over these decisions.
Additional issues which can occur include:
- The law does not recognise unmarried couples so your partner would not be entitled to anything.
- It also can set financial limits over the amount that your spouse can receive whereby they could retain the property but not enough financial support to live there.
Who is qualified to make a Will?
The law states that any individual over the age of 18 has the right to make a Will. There are of course some considerations:
- They need to know that they´re actually writing a Will which means that they have the mental capacity to do so
- They also need to know or be aware of the list of people (beneficiaries) that make part of such Will.
- Make sure that the executors are aware of the fact that they´re included in the aforementioned Will and know where to retrieve it from so.
I already have a Will, do I need another one?
Sometimes a Will may require changes over the years as family circumstances change, for example you may no longer your wish to give a specific asset to someone, or maybe the legal guardian you designated is no longer available for whatever reason.
In this scenario it often easier and cheaper to amend your instructions and create a new Will to sign and witness again rather than the use of added codicils to current Will.
In this particular scenario, you need to make sure that the solicitor adds a revocation clause, meaning that all the previous versions of your Will are considered void. We include this in all of our Wills.
The only one that remains legally relevant will be the one with the most recent date of signing. You may wish to destroy previous Wills once the new one is valid as this will help avoid inconveniences among your relatives over the relevance of previous Wills.
It is impossible to know when the unexpected is going to arrive, but you can use tools such as a Will to prepare for life’s unpleasant inevitabilities, so stop putting it off and realise what major benefit writing a Will provides your family. The ZenWill online solution means you can have a legal Will in less than an hour free of charge.