Where there’s a will there’s a way

By 28th November 2014Louise's Column

Not a subject that everyone wants to talk about, however making a will can make life so much easier for those loved ones you leave behind.

Whether it’s a write it yourself will, one made out professionally by a will writer or a solicitor, it means that your wishes can be carried out as you would like them to be rather than left to the hands of the courts should a proper will not have been drafted or even worse case that beneficiaries have to lodge legal challenges.

So what happens should you not make a will? Some might argue that when you’ve past it’s no longer your problem which I suppose is quite true! But taking a responsible view, if you die intestate your estate would be apportioned according to the law irrespective of your wishes, and it’s not always the case that your widow  would inherit your assets as many believe happens. In England, your spouse would receive up to £250,000 of all assets plus personal possessions; afterwards the rest of the estate is equally divided amongst any children. If you are not married, your surviving partner will have no automatic right to inherit. If you are single without children, your estate would be shared amongst surviving family and in the absence of any living relatives the estate would pass to the Crown. It is equally important to keep your will updated as well to make sure it still reflects your wishes.

As long as your wishes are very straightforward then the quickest cheapest way to make a will is to write it yourself. Ensure your declaration of wishes is both signed and witnessed by two people who are not beneficiaries to the will. DIY will kits are available from shops and online for around £50. For a simple will you could pay a bit more to employ a will writer taking advice to ensure your will is drafted correctly, however if you require legal expertise and have concerns over your estate then you will need to consult with a solicitor. This would be the most expensive option but it is the safest way of ensuring your wishes are carried out. If you have any concerns though it is always best to seek professional help when writing a will.

This article does not provide individual financial advice and are the views of the columnist only. Vision Independent Financial Planning Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

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