Your Will is a very important document – and everyone should make one. But you might think, why are they so important? And will I need a solicitor to help me sort it out? This article answers these questions to make you understand the process a little easier.
Why is it important to make a will?
If you die with no will, then there are standard rules which decide how your money and possessions will be allocated. However, this may not be what you want – you may have left a marriage un-divorced, or fallen out with family members.
Unmarried couples or ones who have no registered for a civil partnership will not be able to inherit from one another if there is no will. Without this, the partner left may face some serious financial difficulties. If you have children, you will also need to sort out arrangements for their care if either parents or both parents die.
Using a will, you can also greatly reduce the amount of inheritance tax you are paying. Speaking to solicitors Chester can advise you on this further.
Do I need a solicitor to help write my will?
Technically, you don’t have to use a solicitor to write your Will. If you wanted to do it yourself, then you can do it, but you should only do this if it is very straightforward.
The best thing to do is to get your Will checked over by a solicitor. This way, they can confirm that your Will will create the action you want. Mistakes are very easy to make, and errors can cause issues once you have died. Sorting this out can cost a considerable amount, thus reducing the amount in your estate.
Common mistakes found when making a Will include:
- Not being aware of what is legally required to make a Will valid
- Failing to make arrangements for all property and money
- Failing to address what will happen if the beneficiary dies first
- Changing a Will with no witnesses
- Not being aware of how a marriage, civil partnership, divorce or dissolution will affect a Will.
There are certain situations where it is very much advised you use a solicitor too. This is if you share a home with someone who is not your spouse or civil partner, want to make arrangements for your child’s care, you have properties overseas or a business is involved. It is also a good idea to see a solicitor if you believe there are a number of people who will attempt to contest the Will, such as an ex-partner or children from a first marriage.