Mugford & Co Wills (Fareham) Ltd
Most people leave most to their families...
But not always. Some people have no close family still living. Sometimes
people wish to make a gift, sometimes large and sometimes small, to a friend,
helpful neighbour, charity or local church. Without a Will these gifts would
not be made under the intestacy rules.
I made a Will years ago, do I need to review it?
~ ~ ~
Generally you should review your Will every 5 to 7 years or 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. Some people split up from
their spouse but do not get divorced straight away. In these circumstances it
is important to be sure that you have a Will that leaves all of your money and
property to the right person.
Not doing anything may mean you end up
leaving everything to the last person you would want to have it.
Examples of changes of circumstances are getting married or remarried,
entering into a civil partnership, getting divorced or separated, the birth or
adoption of children and coming into money, perhaps by inheriting yourself.
Do I need to use a solicitor?
No. There are a variety of Will writing services provided by people with
varying levels of knowledge and quality of service. You may be surprised to
know that there is no requirement for qualifications or even any legal
background for a Will writer. You can fill out online forms for an online Will.
You can buy a Will kit from a stationery shop, but all you really need is a pen
and a sheet of paper; and, of course, knowledge.
You would not let someone
service your brakes without being sure of their competence. Why have a Will
prepared by anyone without being sure of their expertise?
At Mugford & Co Wills (Fareham) Ltd you will have a personal meeting with a
former solicitor with over 20 years' experience.
I did make a Will but I want to make some changes
This is a fruitful area for disputes. When you make your own Will, be aware
of the formalities of signing and witnessing the Will. Equally important is to
comply with the formalities if you try to change part of the Will subsequently.
A true example was where a woman with a son and a daughter disapproved
of the daughter's later choice of husband and left a letter with the son saying
that she did not want her to inherit anything. Since she had not complied
with the formalities the letter would only serve to cause a lasting family feud.
Formalities can be a minefield
For example, if one of the witnesses to a Will is also a beneficiary, the Will is
valid but the legacy to that witness will fail, so a simple good deed in offering
to witness the Will could have disastrous consequences.
I made my Will just before I married
If you marry or enter into a registered civil partnership, any previous Will is
deemed to be revoked, unless specifically stated otherwise. This could thwart
your carefully planned intentions.
I do not own much. Why should I make a Will?
If you have children then it is sensible to appoint guardians in the event of
the death of their parents. This can be a difficult decision to make, but that is
all the more reason to address the issue and plan who would be best and
discuss it with them. The alternative is to do nothing and hope for the best.
If you cohabit...
Do you wish to leave everything, something or nothing to your partner?
"The Law Commission recently reported that some provision should be made for
cohabiting couples without Wills, but it is never going to be easy to know what people want
to do unless they say so for themselves.
People cohabit for a wide variety of reasons. Young people may share accommodation,
rented or bought, simply to ease the cost of starting out in life. In such circumstances the
last thing they may wish is for the other to inherit anything in the event of their death.
At the other extreme some people live together as man and wife for decades and have children,
but never marry or enter into a civil partnership. Sometimes they do not bother to make a Will,
perhaps because they did not get around to it or perhaps because they assumed that their partner
would receive everything anyway. Putting it off or making assumptions can be disastrous."
Make a Will and make it clear.
I want to leave it all to my children...
But what if one of your children is an adult facing problems, such as potential
bankruptcy after an unsuccessful business venture or impending divorce? If
a legacy was made in such circumstances it may just be swallowed up, in
whole or in part, in the bankruptcy or divorce proceedings.
There are ways
of dealing with these situations. Money spent on good advice could save you
and your loved ones vastly more.
Please note that statements made throughout this website are for general information
are not intended to be legal advice and should not be taken as such.
~ ~ ~