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New Year’s resolutions can tend to be things that people put off all year – getting fit, organising the house or embarking on a DIY project for example.

 

Making a will could be another item on that list of things that you know you really should get round to, but it doesn’t seem to become a top priority, especially when you lead a busy life and there are always other more exciting ways to spend your money!

 

The start of a new year is often a time when people think about getting their legal affairs in order by making a will or updating their existing one.

 

It is also a time where visits to family members over Christmas may spark concerns for their parents or elderly relatives who may need to consider some later-life planning such as lasting powers of attorney, estate planning or care home planning.

 

This article will take a brief look at some considerations for getting organised in 2020.

 

Making a Will

 

If making a will is one of your New Year’s Resolutions then get in touch today. We can send you a copy of our useful will questionnaire which will help you start thinking about what your intentions are for your assets, estate and dependents.

 

This will get the ball-rolling before coming in to see one of our Solicitors who can then highlight any specific areas that you need to plan for depending on our own circumstances or wishes.

 

Process of Making a Will

 

Although a task that is often put-off, the process for an individual making a will is a relatively straight-forward one. Most of the administration and responsibility lies with the Solicitor.

 

Initially you will meet with a solicitor to run through some background information, outline your intentions go through any specific wishes that you have. Based on this and the advice given, your solicitor will go away and draft the document. You can then look over this at your leisure until you are ready to proceed.

 

Once you are ready you can come into our offices to sign your will and have it witnessed. We can then give you a copy, if desired, for you to store at home and the original document will be secured in our fireproof ‘strong’ room to be accessed as and when required.

 

If your circumstances are relatively straight-forward, you could be looking at 2 short meetings and you can then tick off ‘making a will’ from your ‘to-do’ list.

Updating Your Will

 

If you already have made a will, either with us at Lamb Brooks, or elsewhere, then we are happy to help you get this updated to reflect changes in circumstances.

 

A well-written will should not need updating too often unless your personal circumstances have changed dramatically. Times where it is suggested that you should review your will are; upon marriage or divorce, on the arrival of children or grandchildren, if you have moved out of the country, upon the death of your executor/s or if you have had any considerable changes to your intentions since writing your will.

 

In some circumstances you can update your will by making a codicil rather than starting again, in other scenarios it will make more sense to start a fresh. Your solicitor will be able to advise you how best to make changes depending on your situation.

 

Advice for Later Life

 

As with many things in life, planning ahead always makes the journey easier. If you have concerns for family members or want to ensure that your own affairs are in order to save your children worry or disputes later on in life then our team can advise you on how best to plan and structure your estate.

 

Saving tax, or not paying unnecessary tax, is often a concern so that as much of your hard-earned wealth can pass onto your next generation. Our team can offer the administration of trusts and other tools to do just this.

 

Many people are living longer, which is fantastic, however does raise concerns for the cost of care required. Care home planning is something that we are seeing more clients make a priority over the years. We work closely with our Residential Property Team who can also help with aspects such as equity release, transfers of equity, property sales and purchases.

 

You can accompany an older relative to help them tie up their legal affairs or if they are unable to travel to us then we are happy to visit them at home, in care homes or at hospital. We understand how it can be difficult for some clients to come to our office and we try to make quality legal services accessible for all.

 

Your Next Steps

 

To speak to someone please call 01256 844888 or outside of working hours you can email enquiries@lambbrooks.com or speak to our online chat assistant.

 

We hope to help you complete your New Year’s Resolutions so that you can relax and enjoy the new decade with the peace of mind that your affairs are taken care of.

 

Other Articles That May Interest You:

Using A Solicitor Vs Using a Will Writer

A Quick Guide to Making A Will

Do’s and Don’ts: Dealing With Dementia

 

 

 

 

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice.  The law may have changed since this article was published.   Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.