Writing a will
Despite being someone who deals with wills on a daily basis, I come across many people who don’t seem to have given it a second thought.
It may be because it means they have to consider what will happen after they’ve gone or they simply put it off because there’s always something else they need to do.
Making a will and sorting out your affairs by leaving clear instructions is something that should be a priority – and once it’s done you can enjoy both peace of mind and the joy of everyday living.
Most people make the mistake that a will is all about who you are leaving your estate to – in fact it’s equally as important to explain WHY you haven’t left anything to certain people who may feel entitled.
Take the recent case of Heather Illott who challenged her estranged mother’s will and was awarded a third of her estate by the Court of Appeal. If her mother had explained in her will why she didn’t want her daughter to inherit, it would have made the claim far more difficult to win.
If there is someone in your family or that you’re close to who you may feel they have a right to part of your estate, then explain in your will the reasons for leaving them out – it makes life far easier in the long run.
As someone who specialises in bespoke wills, I constantly work with families where people have new partners, but still want to provide for children from a previous marriage or relationship. Ensuring that clear instructions are left and that your family are properly provided for requires real legal expertise, particularly if there is an extended family involved.
I regularly advise on “life interest” clauses which allow a second partner to live in the family home but ensure that when they also pass away, the estate falls into the hands of the right people.
Anyone starting life with a new partner –regardless of whether they’re a heterosexual or homosexual couple – needs to think about making future provision for them, particularly if there are children involved.
Making a will is a really important move and you should be guided through it by an expert who can ensure that your wishes are correctly worded so there can be no doubt as to what your intentions are.
If you’re unsure about your current will or you haven’t made one at all, please get in touch – we’re delighted to help.
Ros Danson, Solicitor, EMG Solicitors, Durham.
For further information visit www.emgsolicitors.com
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