Writing your last Will And Testament - Legal Guidence
Wickham Wills has been taken over by Hillman Legal Partnerships Ltd, effective 18 June 2015.
If you have any queries, you can contact Hillman Legal Partnerships Ltd on 020 8340 3102.
What happens if I don't have a will? You may think that your affairs are straightforward and that you don't need a Will, but an act of parliament says that unless you make a Will, the Government decides who gets what according to a very strict pecking order. The only way to ensure your wishes are legally binding is to write a Will. Even if the law agrees with your choice of beneficiaries, your estate is still easier, quicker and cheaper to deal with if you have a Will.
Do you have children under 18? It's difficult, but essential to face the possibility that young children could be left without parents. You can decide who will look after them by appointing guardians within your Will, or social services and courts will decide for you. Be aware that an unmarried father may not automatically become guardian to his own children unless nominated in a Will.
Are you living with a partner and not married? Your partner is not automatically entitled to anything from your estate. They have to go to court and fight for a share.
Do you think that your husband / wife will inherit everything automatically? Not necessarily! If you have children your spouse might only get the first £250,000 and half the balance, with your children receiving the other half when they are 18. Some would consider receiving a large sum of money when 18 is unwise.
Have you considered Inheritance Tax? For unmarried couples, tax efficient Wills can save up to £130,000 in Inheritance Tax when the second person dies. A simple choice, would you rather give the money to the government or to your family and friends.
Do you want to protect the value of your home? Sadly, we hear all too often of cases where the value of a house has been used to pay for residential care fees, leaving nothing for the family. Surviving spouses or partners could change their Will to disinherit your children. Correctly drafting your Will can prevent this problem.
Are you recently divorced or about to be divorced? Until your Decree Absolute you are still married so your spouse benefits. Divorce does not revoke an existing Will but a Decree Absolute means that your former spouse will be treated as having predeceased you. However all the other gifts in your Will still operate, including gifts to his or her family that you may no longer wish to make?
Do you have a Will and are you about to marry or have a Civil Partnership? Unless your Will was written in contemplation of your marriage or civil partnership, any existing Will is automatically revoked. Many children lose their inheritance as a result of parents remarrying.