When you own a house or have valuable savings it is advisable to have a professionally drawn up Will. The cost of the Will is relatively small compared to the value of your house and using a Solicitor avoids the risk of making mistakes in a homemade Will. Solicitors’ Firms have a professional indemnity insurance policy you can claim on in the unlikely event that an error is made in preparing your Will. Stephen Broadhurst is experienced in drawing up Wills and completes around 250 a year.
Here are six good reasons to make a will
- By make a will you can make sure your estate goes to the right people in the right proportions, thereby avoiding family quarrels and expense;
- If you and your partner are not married or civil partners, it is vital to make a will; otherwise your partner, however long you have been together, may get a raw deal.
- If you and your spouse are separated but not divorced (by decree absolute), unless you make a will to the contrary, they may well inherit your estate;
- You can choose your executors – the people who will carry out the instructions in your will – for yourself;
- You can give great pleasure to people dear to you by leaving them keepsakes or small gifts, and you may even be able to right some past wrongs;
- You may be able to reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax payable.
A Codicil is effectively an amendment to an existing Will. It has to be signed and witnessed in the same way as a Will. A Codicil can be used to make smaller changes to an existing Will but if larger changes are needed, it is usually easier to make a completely new Will.
But what is often lost in professionally drafted wills is the personal touch. People read the wills written for them and wonder why it is that the words on the pages are not in language they would use or sometimes can even understand. It needn’t be like that though. Wills do not even have to be written in antique language. In the wills we write plain English rules and we want the will to be an expression of your personality. If you want your ashes scattered at sea so in the next life you come back as a mermaid that’s what your will should say. (Needs a link to charges for private client and charity Will scheme Wills)