11th January 2022
As we start the new year, many people are keen to get their affairs in order and tackle the ‘life admin’ that has been on their to do list for a while. Making a Will or updating an existing Will is quite often something that gets put off, but the new year is a good time to review this and put the wheels in motion.
Your Will is a very personal document, tailored to your own individual needs, circumstances and wishes. Therefore, what is most important to include in a will could be very different for one person to the next.
In this short article, our experienced solicitors go through some of the key points to ensure are included in your Will.
One of the most important decisions to make before formalising your Will, is who you would like to appoint as your executor. Your executor will be responsible for finding and managing your estate in accordance with your instructions. They will need to settle your debts, managing your bank accounts, utilities and property, liaise with your solicitors and the carry out the final distribution of your possessions and estate. It is important to choose someone you can trust with these duties and also wise to give different options. Many people would choose their spouse, but it is important to have other options should you outlive your partner. You might want to appoint one of your children or a Solicitor to manage your estate.
If you have young children, then it will be very important to you to appoint someone to take care of them if they are left without both parents. If guardians are not appointed, then you run the risk of the Courts deciding who will raise your children. Their decision might not necessarily be in line with your wishes, particularly if you have complex family issues.
Think carefully about who you want to benefit from your estate. For many it will be their spouse and children, but others have more complicated family structures or may wish for a close friend or charity to benefit from their Will. Consider what your wishes would be if you were to outlive your beneficiaries and also what should happen if you have children from previous relationships or more complex family relationships.
Within your Will you can set out instructions for specific items or assets. This may not be important to everyone, but some families will have sentimental items or valuables that are specifically intended to pass onto named family members. If this sounds important to you, then ensure your wishes are clearly communicated within your Will. Quite often people will make promises to family, but without formalising these wishes they can be missed, causing upset or confusion.
In order for your Will to be valid it must be signed in front of witnesses. Wills must be made and witnessed by individuals who have mental capacity to make important decisions and fully understand what they are signing. Anyone over 18 can witness a Will, but they cannot be a beneficiary.
If you are considering making a Will in 2022 or need to re-write an old Will, then please get in touch with our expert team who can guide you through the process and book you in for an initial appointment to discuss your wishes.
Call us on 01256 844888, email email@example.com or speak to our online chat assistant, who is a real person that can take your details and arrange for someone to contact you.
When Should You Update Your Will?
How to Choose an Executor or Attorney
How to Start Writing a Will: 8 Simple Steps
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.
Lamb Brooks LLP
Victoria House 39 Winchester Street Basingstoke Hampshire RG21 7EQ
f: 01256 330 933
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