AtHomeWithGloriaHunnifordOctober2016 - 148


THE WILL
TO SUCCEED
IF YOU DIE WITHOUT WRITING DOWN YOUR WISHES, IT CAN CAUSE
A FINANCIAL AND EMOTIONAL NIGHTMARE FOR THOSE LEFT BEHIND...

D

rawing up a will while
you're still able saves
arguments after your
passing, and also gives
you the peace of mind
that everything is in order. Having one
makes it easier for your family to sort
everything out and can help to reduce
the amount of inheritance tax they
will need to pay.
If you don't have a will, your estate
will be distributed under the rules of
intestacy as determined by law, and
this may not be how you want your
assets distributed.
Research by The Law Society has
found that 73% of Brits aged between
16 and 54 do not have a will, nor do
36% of those over 55.
A will in its most simple form
allows you to:
Distribute your wealth (however
modest) to your chosen beneficiaries
on your death.
Choose executors to be responsible
for administering your estate.
Nominate guardians to look after
children (or any minor for whom
you have parental responsibility).
Defer the age at which your
beneficiaries inherit to ensure they
receive it at an age at which you feel
they will spend it wisely.
Leave gifts of items or money to
friends, family or charity.
Make provisions for your pet(s).

HOW TO MAKE
A WILL

You can write a will yourself, however,
as it is a legal document, small errors
148 | NOVEMBER 2016

can cause huge problems. If you do
go down this route, you should seek
professional legal advice to ensure
your will is interpreted in the way
that you expect it to be.
'Writing your own will is the
cheapest and most risky option as
it could be invalid if it has not been
witnessed or signed as required by
law,' says Melanie Dowding, money
expert for the Money Advice Service
(www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk).
'You can buy templates in shops
and online, however, I would only
recommend using this option if your
affairs are very simple: for example, if
you have no dependants and you plan
to leave everything you own to your
spouse when you die.'
Getting a solicitor or professional
will writer to compose your will is
often the best way of making sure
it's done properly. The cost varies
anywhere between £100 and £300.
'If you do decide to use a solicitor,
you should choose one that has legal
expertise in this area so they draft a
will that will do exactly what you want
it to,' says Melanie. 'Using a solicitor is
often the most expensive option, but it
will give you the most peace of mind
and is the recommended option if
your affairs are complex.'
You can expect your solicitor to
explain all of the options available
to you, give you legal advice on all
aspects of your estate and goods, and
provide you with a clear indication of
costs and how they are calculated.
Other benefits of using a solicitor or
professional will writer include being

reassured that there are no mistakes,
and your will will be stored safely,
usually for free.

HELP IS AT HAND

There are a number of charities that
provide a will writing service for
free in return for a donation. There
are also several schemes that offer a
similar service, such as:
FREE WILLS MONTH: This runs
twice a year, in March and October,
in England and Wales. You have to be
over 55 to take part.
Several charities back the scheme,
so the solicitor will ask you to consider
making a charitable bequest, although
you're under no obligation to do so.
Visit www.freewillsmonth.org.uk for
your closest participating solicitors. 
WILL AID: This runs in November,
with 936 solicitor branches signed
up to take part.
You usually have to book in
advance, as spaces are limited, but it's
open to everyone, of any age. There's
no set fee but there's a suggested
donation of £95 (£150 for a couple).

REMEMBER THOSE
WHO MATTER

It might seem obvious that you want
your estate to go to your nearest and
dearest, but, pointing this out in your
will is vital, otherwise the law will
dictate who gets what.
CHILDREN: If your children - if you
have any - are grown up by now, it's
also worth thinking about their little
ones and what help they need, help
that you perhaps currently give them. >


http://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk http://www.freewillsmonth.org.uk

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AtHomeWithGloriaHunnifordOctober2016

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