New Year Resolutions 2017 Top Tips for making a Will
January 23, 2017
- Make a Will
Yes really that is our top tip. Please do make a will. No one likes talking about death but if you don’t make plans on how you want to distribute your assets while you are still alive then you can leave a host of problems and hardships for your grieving family to sort out.
- Choose who draws up your Will wisely
You can make your own will using a “do it yourself kit” available from local stationers but the process has pitfalls and errors are easy to make. As a firm of solicitors we make a lot more money sorting out badly drafted wills and dealing with claims arising under those wills than we do for drawing up wills. DIY is ok for home improvement but it is not for wills. Also solicitors are regulated and insured – "Will Writers" are not.
- Appoint guardians
If you are the last living parent and you are leaving children under age 18, a guardian will be appointed by the court if you have not specified who this shall be in your will. If you are unmarried but you and your partner have children, you might not even get guardianship of your children. If an unmarried man dies, his female partner automatically gets guardianship of their children. If an unmarried woman dies, her male partner does not. You should appoint each other as guardians in your wills to overcome this problem.
- Sign your Will
It is all very well having your will drafted but if you don’t sign it in front of two independent witnesses, it will not be valid. Please be aware that a witness cannot be anyone mentioned in the will or anyone married to anyone mentioned in the will.
- Get it stored safely
Once your will has been correctly signed and witnessed, have it stored in a proper safe storage facility. This will protect it from fire, flood, damage or loss. This can be with your solicitors. Tell your executors where it is. Whatever you do, don’t hide your will. Your will is no good to anyone if it cannot be found after your death.
The information contained in this article is intended for general guidance only. It provides useful information but it is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice as the articles do not take into account specific circumstances. So do please Contact US for legal advice on the issues raised.