What is a Will and do I need one?
A Will is a legal document which allows you to:
Writing a Will can appear a daunting and emotional task however by making a Will, it provides you with peace of mind that your wishes will be carried out and ensures that your loved ones are protected and provided for whatever may happen in the future. Sadly, we often see the effects that dying without a Will has on those left behind.
What happens if I don’t have a Will?
If you die without making a Will then the Intestacy rules will apply to your estate upon death. The Intestacy rules decide where your estate is to go in the absence of a Will. This means that your estate could pass to your spouse or civil partner whether it is your intention or not. This means that children may not inherit upon your death. In the absence of close family members your estate could be divided between distant relatives who you never knew about and who have never met you!
Do I need a Will?
If you do not already have a Will then we ask that you look at the following scenarios which may be applicable to your personal circumstances and ask yourself whether now is the time to think about making a Will:
Once you are married or have formed your civil partnership it is advisable to either review any existing Will you may have or make new Wills.
To ensure that your partner is provided for in the event of your death it is beneficial to make a Will. This may include members of your partner’s family for example your partner’s children who are brought up within the family unit – who will not benefit from anything if you do not have a Will.
You may own the property in your sole name but wish to provide for a third party to live in the property for a specified length of time after your death this would be covered in your Will.
If you co-own your property with a spouse or partner as joint tenants – this means that your property will automatically pass to the surviving co-owner whether you have a Will or not. If this is not your intention you can sever your joint tenancy and leave your share of your home under the terms of your Will.
If you already own your property as tenants in common, then you can leave your share of the property in your Will whilst ensuring that the surviving owner is protected, if this is your intention.
In your Will you can also financially provide for your children during their minority by using a trust and you can decide what age they can have full access to their inheritance.
Your personal circumstances may require you to consider specialist trusts to provide protection for your children in the future. Grandparents may also wish to include these trusts in their Wills.
Consider whether you need to include children from your first marriage/relationship in your Will to protect their interests.
If you die without updating your Will then your ex will be entitled to receive any share of your estate you have left them under your Will.
Should you enter into a new relationship then it is beneficial to review your Will to ensure that your wishes reflect your current situation.
At this time, it is beneficial to review the terms of your current Will or make a new Will.
Upon the finalisation of your divorce, or dissolution of your civil partnership, any current Will you hold remains valid. However, your ex-spouse or civil partner is unable to receive any inheritance left under the current Will. To avoid any uncertainty or confusion it is always advisable to make a new Will.
You may feel that once you have made your Will you can concentrate on your family and the other important issues in your life.
It can be a positive step to keep your affairs in order, but it can also be the negative aspect of a situation whereby the wishes of the deceased were not carried out due to not having a Will or updating their Will.
These are thought-provoking situations that we can all relate to and by making a Will you can give yourself peace of mind for the future.
Why choose Oakwood Solicitors Ltd?
Oakwood Solicitors can assist you through this process and provide you with the necessary advice. Our team have gained an excellent reputation amongst local organisations and their client-base for delivering a personal and compassionate service. As a firm we pride ourselves on having a high standard of customer service and making all our current and potential clients feel at ease when making any decisions regarding their future wishes.
As a firm with our clients best interests in mind:
You will have a dedicated advisor who will work through the Wills process with you from start to finish, assisting you in the event of any queries or issues you may have. Your advisor will also continue to provide regular updates until your final Will signing.
We recommend reviewing your Will every three to five years or whenever your circumstances change. We will send you reminders in future years should you need to modify your Will.
Once your Will has been signed, we can store your Original Will free of charge in our deed store department and provide you with a copy to keep with your personal documents. We will ensure the process is as stress-free and effortless as possible.
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Here at Oakwood Solicitors, we’re not your average law firm – our team delivers a service which caters to you. From assessing your case through to completion, our staff have not only the knowledge and expertise, but also the compassion and understanding to put you at ease throughout the process.