Your Legal Question Answered: Do I need a Will?

Do I need a Will? It’s a question we have heard many times and the answer is undoubtedly, yes. However, research carried out by the insurance company, Royal London in 2018 found that over 50% of adults in the UK did not have a valid will, with 59% of parents not having a Will in place at all.

Richard Swaine, a Director at Lockings Solicitors explains why you need a Will in this short video.

Hi. I’m Richard Swaine. I’m a Director at Lockings Solicitors. We unlock the legal services that you need. So, do you need a Will?

100% yes. Every adult needs a Will.

A Will, commonly known as a Last Will and Testament is a legal declaration that clearly sets out the wishes of the testator. The testator is the legal term for the person writing the Will or having the Will written for them.

The Will must include not only the instructions of how to divide their assets and belongings (referred to as their estate) but name the person responsible for administrating the will, commonly referred to as the executor.

A Will is only valid once it has been signed by the testator and witnesses.

So, not only do you need a Will but you need to be sure that the Will is legally binding so that your wishes will be carried out and your family and loved ones do not experience unnecessary stress.

With a Will you choose whether your wishes are clear to those you leave behind and who carries your wishes out.

If you don’t things could take longer, cost more and there is more likely to be a dispute. With a Will, you choose who gets what.

If you don’t, it’s not likely to turn out how you would expect. For example, if you’re not married your partner won’t get anything.

With a will, you choose who you would like to take care of your children and anybody else who depends on you including any pets.

If you don’t, it’s probably not going to work out as you would want because we don’t usually talk about these things.

With a Will, you choose whether the government gets its fair share and no more. If you don’t, your home could be sold to pay for care home fees, and you could end up paying more tax than you need to.

If you could see now what you will leave behind if you don’t make a Will, you would make one today.

Don’t leave your Will to chance, come to the legal experts for professional help and guidance that you can rely on. Make a free enquiry by visiting our website or call 01482 595105 today.

A Will not only expresses how you would like your assets and possessions, referred to as your Estate, to be split but it also stipulates who will be your children’s legal guardian should the worst happen to you


Do I Need a Will: What can go Wrong?

Lots of things can go wrong without a Will in place, causing undue stress for family and loved ones.

  • The law will decide how your estate is distributed
  • Children’s carers will be appointed by a court where no one with parental responsibility remains
  • Your family and loved ones may not receive the benefits you had intended for them
  • If you were not married or in a registered civil partnership with your partner, they would not have a legal entitlement to property or assets and may even lose their home
  • Your family (or beneficiaries) may be responsible for paying inheritance tax, a Will can help avoid this
  • Your funeral wishes may not be followed

The only way to ensure your wishes are followed is to make a legally binding Will.

Do I need a Will: Are all Wills Legally binding?

The short answer is No, not all Wills are created equal. As Wills are commonly written by Solicitors, who are regulated, regulation has never been applied to Will writing in itself.

Though you can make the decision to go to an unregulated service to have your Will made or even make your Will yourself, there are no assurances that a small mistake may not lead to a misguided interpretation or even the invalidity of your will.

Another aspect to consider is that solicitors will have indemnity insurance in place, guaranteeing you compensation in the unlikely event that losses or damages are sustained as a result of the Will they have written.

Do I need to Update my Will?

As a general rule, a will should be reviewed every five years or as and when your circumstances change. This includes getting married, having children, getting divorced, moving home or if anything happens to your named executor.

To find out more about the Will writing services that we offer read go to our Making and Updating a Will page. Alternatively, call us on 01482 300 200 or send your enquiry on the form below. A member of our friendly team will be more than happy to discuss your personal circumstances and advise you on your next steps.

Posted in: Legal Advice

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