A Will is one of the most important documents you will ever write. It allows you to specify in detail who you want to benefit from your property, assets, finances and other possessions after you die.
Although it is possible to create a Will on your own, seeking the support of a lawyer offering a Will writing service ensures that all bases are covered and your loved ones are protected when you die.
The Wills and Estate Planning Services team at Langley Wellington have answered some of the most frequently asked questions about Will writing to ensure that you know what to expect and why making a Will is so important.
Why do I need a Will?
No matter a person’s age or financial status, it is wise to have a Will. In England and Wales, if you die without a Will, the laws of intestacy determine how your estate is distributed. This could leave your close relatives and family without your finances, possessions and property since, contrary to popular belief, partners and cohabitees do not automatically receive everything without a Will.
Furthermore, if you have young children or are the guardian of a person(s) under 18, you will want to ensure that in your Will, you have included who you would want to take Guardianship of them, should anything happen to you. It is essential to consider that this will only come into practice if no one else has parental responsibility over your children when you die. For many parents, this is the main reason they ensure they have an up-to-date and valid Will.
Moreover, without a Will, or where a Will is limited in detail, you risk a family dispute arising.
What are common Will disputes in the UK?
In the UK, there are various reasons why a Will dispute might arise. Therefore, it is paramount that your Will is comprehensive and covers all bases.
Common Will disputes include the following. This is commonly known as contesting a Will or Contentious Probate:
- The deceased did not have sufficient mental capacity according to the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
- The deceased did not adequately understand or approve the content of the Will.
- The deceased was subject to undue influence when writing the Will.
- The Will was subject to fraud or forgery.
- The Will did not correctly reflect the wishes of the deceased.
If you believe that a loved one’s Will was subject to any of the above issues, you will want to speak to a Will dispute lawyer about your options. Our team at Langley Wellington, based in Gloucester, are experienced in giving advice on Will writing and dealing with Contentious Probate matters.
What is the Inheritance Act 1975?
In this case, the person might be eligible to apply for provisions under the Inheritance (Provisions for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. Under this act, applicants must be:
- A spouse or civil partner of the deceased.
- A former spouse or the partner of the deceased.
- A child of the deceased.
- A person (not a child) who was treated by the deceased as a child of the family.
- Any person being maintained (either wholly or partly) by the deceased at the time of death.
What should I consider when making a Will?
Prior to your appointment at Langley Wellington to make or amend your Will, there are some key points that we recommend you consider to ensure that your Will is as comprehensive as possible and that it accurately reflects your circumstances.
- Who do I want as my executors?
- Do I need to appoint any guardians?
- What do I want to gift, and to whom?
- What are my wishes for my funeral?
- Is there anything else that I want to bring to my solicitors’ attention?
Will Writing Service
At Langley Wellington, our team has extensive experience assisting many clients with drafting and/or amending their Will.
It is essential to ensure that your Will consistently reflects your current situation. Therefore, if you get married, move house, have children, start a business, or face any other major life event, you should speak to us, and we will assist you in updating your Will accordingly. After all, you want to do all you can to protect your family and friends.
This blog post is not intended to be taken as advice or acted upon. If you are seeking legal advice, please get in touch with our team of solicitors.