Why make a will?
Around two thirds of those who die in Britain have no will. In these cases the Law of Intestacy (1925) comes into play. If you are unmarried and if you have no close relatives, then the Crown can claim your estate. In other words, no one will receive any of your possessions other than the government.
If you write a will you are effectively tidying up your affairs and showing clear consideration for those you will leave behind.
Having a will in place makes the pain of death much easier for those you leave behind. Dealing with intestacy, the situation where there is no will, is a difficult and lengthy process. It can be stressful and very upsetting as well.
There can be sensible financial considerations for writing a will. Inheritance Tax can be a burden, especially where a substantial sum is inherited. We can look at these implications with you to allow you to make sensible choices.
Another good reason why you should write a will is so you can make your own funeral arrangements and see to the costs. If you specify that part of your estate will pay for the funeral, and money is set aside for this, then your family will not have to pay the large bill that usually accompanies a funeral. You can also state where the funeral should be held, which hymns or readings should be used, and whether you wish to be buried or cremated. This can mean a considerable saving in time and money for the grieving family.
Writing a will also ensures that those who may need your money after you have gone, and who have the right of inheritance to it, will have access to it as soon as possible, thereby avoiding possible hardship. Writing a will simply makes sure that everything in your estate is tied up in the best way possible for the greatest number of people concerned.
What makes a will valid?
In order for a will to be valid, it must be:-
Although it will be legally valid even if it is not dated, it is advisable to ensure that the will also includes the date on which it is signed.
As soon as the will is signed and witnessed, it is complete.
If someone makes a will but it is not legally valid, on their death their estate will be shared out under Intestacy rules, not according to the wishes expressed in the will.
Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority No 71599