Your Right to Choose: Why You Need A Will
With the school holiday’s fast approaching it’s a time many of us as parents, school teachers and lecturers will give pause to reflect on the months that have passed since the coronavirus pandemic began.
COVID-19 has certainly demonstrated how quickly our lives can change and also how our health and that of others certainly can’t be taken for granted. It’s about the need to protect ourselves but also our loved ones, our estate as well as our business and beyond.
It’s not always an easy topic to discuss but having a Will and a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) ensures that your wishes are taken care of if in the event you become critically ill, incapacitated or that you pass away.
Why it’s important to have a Will
Having a Will ensures that when you die your possessions, money and property is allocated as you would want them to be. Without a Will, your estate will be distributed according to rules of intestacy which may not match how you would like it dispersed.
It’s not about how wealthy you feel that you’re but that your estate is allocated according to your wishes.
Things to be mindful of;
- Unmarried partners and partners whom have not registered as a civil partnership cannot inherit from one another without a Will.
- If you have children you need to ensure arrangements are detailed within a Will should one or both parents die.
- If advice is taken in advance and a Will is created it may be possible to reduce the amount of payable tax on the inheritance.
- If your situation changes or differs from the original date of an existing Will this needs to be a legally reflected change. For example, if you were to re-marry or enter into a registered civil partnership these can make your Will invalid if it’s not noted.
Consulting a solicitor can ensure that your Will stands up in the eyes of the law and that any potentially costly mistakes are avoided.
Should I use a solicitor?
You don’t have to use a solicitor but it’s certainly worth considering using a reputable expert to offer you peace of mind as well as specialist assistance even if you feel your Will is straightforward.
At Guardian Solicitors, we’re always upfront with our clients and issue expectations of services as well as detailed costings directly to you.
Reasons why it’s important to seek knowledgeable and experienced legal guidance for your Will;
- Understanding the formal requirements needed to make a Will legally valid.
- Considering all of the available money and property to be included within the Will.
- When you change a Will, any alterations need to be signed in order to make them legally valid.
- Being aware of the impact in a change of circumstance can have on your Will.
- Knowing the rules surrounding dependents and how they claim from the estate should they feel they’re not financially and sufficiently cared for.
What happens to my estate if I die without a Will?
Should you die without having a Will, you have deemed an intestate person which is where intestacy rules are applied and decide how your estate should be shared out.
The same principle is put into place if a Will is not legally valid.
Should I have a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) as well as a Will?
Having an LPA and a Will are essential if you want an individual/s to make decisions should you become ill, incapacitated or pass away. If in the event you don’t have either your chosen donor/s or executor/s will not be able to take care of your financial, health or affairs of your estate.
It’s worth noting that if you have an LPA you’ll want to ensure its legally registered but in addition to this you’ll want to know that if in the event your chosen donor/s need to assist in making choices for you surrounding all aspects of your life including business that they can do so in the manner that you would want them to.
Choosing a solicitor to make your will
When choosing a solicitor, you’ll want to ensure you choose a firm that is regulated by an authorised legal body. At Guardian Solicitors, we’re a firm of solicitors who are regulated by The Solicitors Regulation Authority which means we are duty-bound to adhere by the high standards set which must be upheld at all times and that we have the relevant insurances to protect our business and that of our clients too.
At Guardian Solicitors, we care about you and as our client, we will work closely with you to help find the right choice that matches your legal needs at the right time.
For further details on Lasting Powers of Attorney and making a Will, you can contact us at Guardian Solicitors to arrange an initial meeting by emailing email@example.com or by calling 0203 301 6600.