As we welcome in the New Year many of us will be pursuing New Year's Resolutions; the perfect opportunity to accomplish a personal goal or carry out lifestyle adjustments to change your life for the better. In reality, New Year's Resolutions are usually broken within a few weeks, but there is one simple thing that can be done which can make a huge difference in the future: making a Will.
Although it is often difficult to think about the inevitable, having a Will in place is arguably one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family. Not only can a will legally protect your partner, children and assets, it can also spell out exactly how you would like things handled after you have passed on.
It is reported that 1 in 3 people in the UK die without having a written Will in place to protect their family and assets. If you die without a Will your estate will be distributed in accordance with the Intestacy Rules. These rules are old fashioned and can lead to disappointment and injustice.
Did you know?
- If you die without a Will your husband, wife or civil partner may not automatically inherit everything; they may have to share your estate with other relatives.
- If you are not married or in a civil partnership your partner is not automatically entitled to anything.
- If you separate from your spouse, they will stand to receive at least a proportion of your estate if you die before your divorce is fully finalised.
- Marriage or entering a civil partnership will revoke your Will.
Today, blended families are more common than ever, with a growing number of step-families and blended families who are raising children from their previous and present marriages. Consequently, it's important to regularly review your Will to ensure it's still fit for purpose and reflects your current personal circumstances.
Writing a Will does not need to be a lengthy process, after the first appointment, initial draft Wills are usually sent out within 10 working days. Once you are happy with the Will, a further appointment is made for the Will to be signed and witnessed. It is then usual for the legal provider to hold a copy of the Will until it is needed by the family.
We encourage our clients to review their Wills every three to five years, both to ensure that their wishes are up to date but also to consider changes in the law or tax system which may have a personal impact. At Clapham & Collinge Solicitors, we offer a free Will review, with appointments available at our North Walsham and Sheringham offices.
For more information on our Will services, please visit our dedicated 'Making a Will' webpage.
If you are considering making a Will or would like a member of our team to have a look at your current Will[s] and advise you about any changes you should consider making, please contact our Client Relations Team to book an appointment by calling 01603 693500 or emailing email@example.com. Appointments available at our Norwich, North Walsham and Sheringham offices.