Without a will, what you leave behind may not go where you would have wanted it to. Having a will in place means that you get to decide what happens with your possessions after you die.
Why Should I Write A Will?
When properly drafted, a will can help prevent uncertainty and it also reduces the potential for family conflict during an emotional and difficult time. Situations with divorce or complex family matters where parents have introduced new partners or children have become more common and this makes the division of possessions more complicated. A will that presents clear wishes that are specific will prevent speculation and conflict over the distribution of assets.
Inheritance tax is a type of tax you pay when you inherit money or property of a person who has died. When you have a will in place, it can help reduce the amount of inheritance tax that might be payable on the value of your property that is left behind.
Your Wishes For The Children
If there are children or if there is another dependent family, it’s important to write a will with a specific statement of intent. With a clear will in place, it will ensure that your wishes will be carried out when you are leaving an asset to people outside of the immediate family.
Your Wishes May Not Be Met
Without a will in place, your wishes may not be carried out and all of your assets will be distributed in a pattern defined in law. This means that your assets may not be dealt with in a way that you had wished for. As such, it’s important to write a will if you wish to share your possessions in a specific manner.
What Should I Write In My Will?
When writing your will, there are a few main topics to consider:
- You should specify who should take care of your children if they are under the age of 18.
- What you wish to do with your property, possessions, assets, pensions, insurance policies, bank accounts, building society accounts, and shares.
- Who are the beneficiaries that will benefit from your will? You should specify a list of people to whom you wish to leave possessions and money.
- Who will carry out your wishes as stated on your will and sort out the estate? You will need to consider who the executors are.
Is A Solicitor Needed For Writing A Will?
It’s not compulsory to use a solicitor to write a will and not everyone does. A will is a legal document that should be worded clearly so that it cannot be misinterpreted and a solicitor will be able to help make sure that your will is in order. If you wish to write your own will, then it is recommended to get advice from a professional beforehand.
A solicitor can provide support and help you word your will so that it avoids being misinterpreted. They might also be able to point out whether there may be ways to reduce the payable inheritance tax, depending on the size of your estate.
Usually, it can cost upwards of a few hundred pounds to have a solicitor help you with your will. However, the cost can be dependent on a few factors, such as the complexity of your situation.
Alternatively, if you do not want to use a solicitor, there are also will writing services that can provide support and guidance. If you have very straightforward circumstances then a will writing service may be the better option.
If you are looking to use a will writing service, then it’s important to check that the service is recognised by a regulated body. The typical costs of a will writing service can start from around £80. Depending on the complexity of your affairs and the expertise of the company you are using, it can cost more.
Before you go ahead with a will writing service, be sure to check the full breakdown of costs. Keep an eye out for any clauses that give the company the power to administer your estate as they could charge a fee for this. Although you may have a straightforward estate, they may charge a fee based on a percentage of that estate. For example, they might charge 5% to act as the sole or a joint executor. The charges may still apply even if the estate is very straightforward, or if most of the probate work is done by someone else.
About Stuart Mosley
Stuart Mosley (CeFA, CeMap, CLTM) founded SJ Financial Solutions in June 2005 having spent 12 years with big corporates such as Halifax and Santander. He felt the personal touch and straight speaking was missing from financial and mortgage advice services and set up SJ Financial Solutions to change this.
If you would like to book an appointment then please get in touch and we can arrange a suitable time to discuss further. We can arrange appointments at a place and time suitable to you, we can discuss your options over the phone or if you prefer email, then this is fine with us.