Will Writing Altrincham

 

Writing a Will is something we should all consider doing at some point in our lives. A Will is a legal document explaining your last wishes and can include who you would like to leave your assets to, what your funeral arrangements should be and also perhaps setting up trusts for loved ones to ensure their financial security, or instructions to leave something to your favourite charity. In this article, Will writing Altrincham, we take a look at these issues in more depth and describe the mechanics of your Will. We are an award-winning, multidisciplinary law firm based in Hale, Altrincham. Every Will we create for our clients is drafted by a specialist and hugely experienced qualified solicitor.

Free Initial Telephone Discussion

For a free initial discussion on how we can help you deal with the legal implications of drafting your Will, get in touch with us today. We are experienced in dealing with all aspects of Wills and Probate and we will review your situation and discuss the options open to you in a clear and approachable manner. Early expert legal assistance can help ensure you avoid the stress of dealing with these issues on your own. Simply call us on 0345 901 0445 or click here to make a free enquiry and a member of the team will get back to you.

Is there a recognised standard for writing a will?

Your Will can theoretically be written on the back of an envelope. Because it is a legally binding document, it must, however, meet certain requirements. Two independent adults must witness, sign, and date the document. These witnesses have no right to anything from your Will and are unable to benefit in any way from it (although they can act as executors). Your executors should be identified in your Will and given authority to gather and divide your assets according to your intentions. The legal name for this operation is probate. As long as the executor is not a witness, he or she may be a beneficiary of the Will. Wills come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, from simple to exceedingly complex. The common thread running through them all is that they are all procedural in the sense that a series of procedures must be fulfilled in order for the Will to be considered legally valid. If you write your Will without the assistance of an experienced solicitor, there’s a considerable possibility it won’t be valid or will be challenged after your death. It would be meaningless to draught a Will if this were the case.

Importance of writing a Will

There are many reasons why it is important to write a Will and these include:

Naming a guardian for your children.

When you write a Will, you are not simply deciding how your estate will be split but outlining who you would like to look after your children and other dependents. If they are under the age of 18, you may also appoint legal guardians for them. If you do not, the decision may be made by the family courts, who may choose someone with whom you wouldn’t have chosen yourself. You may have designated friends or family members as godparents for your children, but this is not legally obligatory.

For more information on how to appoint a guardian for your child, please click here.

Ensure that your children are financially secure.

You can make financial plans for your children’s future along with determining who will take care of them. This might involve putting money aside for their education, ensuring they receive a set amount each year for clothing or activities, or starting a savings account in preparation for a home purchase. You might want to consider setting up a trust to care for your children, as this gives you more control over when and how the money is delivered. Establishing a trust can be done in one of two ways: while you are still alive or by providing instructions for it to be established after your death.

Ensure the well-being of your dependents, especially stepchildren.

While your stepchildren may be an integral part of your life, or perhaps your sole children, the law specifies that in the absence of a Will, only spouses or blood relations automatically inherit. If you wish to provide for your stepchildren, you must include them in your Will. The same is true for foster children and any other dependents you want to provide maintenance for.

Protecting a partner if you are unmarried.

Notwithstanding how long you’ve been together, unmarried partners are not entitled to anything from your estate unless specifically indicated in your Will. By creating a Will, you ensure that your partner receives an equitable share of your estate.

Protect your family home.

If you own the family home, your unmarried partner and stepchildren are not automatically entitled to inherit it if you die without leaving a Will, which means they may lose it. You can leave them a share of the property or a right to occupy the property in your Will.

Prevent family conflict.

Unfortunately, if there is no Will or your wishes are not made clear, splitting an inheritance can lead to squabbles and conflicts among your surviving relatives. Contested Wills can be damaging to family relationships and expensive if decisions about your estate are contested. A well-drafted Will can assist to avoid these conflicts and relieve any further stress that your survivors may experience after your death.

Avoid paying more estate tax than necessary.

The amount of inheritance tax deducted from your estate is determined by the value of your estate and who you leave it to. Anything left to your spouse or civil partner is automatically tax deductible. Additionally, transferring property to your children and grandkids would generally result in a lesser inheritance tax burden than transferring it to others.

If you’ve recently married, create a legal Will.

When you marry, your existing marriage becomes null and void in England and Wales. According to intestacy rules, this means that your estate may be divided between your new spouse and children from a prior marriage, perhaps resulting in conflict. As such, it makes sense to examine your Will on a frequent basis to ensure that it continues to represent your current circumstances, particularly following a marriage or separation.

For more information on writing a Will if you are a divorced parent, please click here.

Outline who you want to settle your affairs.

You can appoint an executor, or many executors, in your Will who will be responsible for carrying out your final wishes. Selecting your executor in advance enables you to select the most qualified individual for the job. Additionally, it provides advance notice to the executor, allowing them to prepare.

State who you would like to look after your pets.

If you have dogs, cats, or any other pets, they may also require care following your death. You can designate someone to look after them and set aside funds to feed and care for them.

Protect your digital property.

Nowadays, assets can include more than cash and actual property. Digital accounts and online purchases of digital content, such as music, digital art, photographs, or websites, as well as digital currency, are also deemed to be part of your belongings and may be lost if not included in your Will. Emails and social media accounts are also included in your legacy; do you want them deleted or protected, and do you want your executor to have access to passwords?

For more information on what happens to your bitcoin when you die, please click here.

Contribute to a favourite charity.

If you are a supporter of a charity, you may wish to leave it something after you die. Along with helping a good cause, you may be able to save your family money on inheritance tax if you give more than 10% of your assets to a good cause.

What else should you include in your Will?

Naming your executor is a good first step. This person will be responsible for winding up your affairs and ensuring the terms of your Will are adhered to. This person can be anyone you trust be it is prudent to select someone you think will probably outlive you.

Your funeral arrangements are essentially the details of how and where you would like to be buried or cremated. You can go into any level of detail you like but whatever you choose make sure your family are aware that this information will be contained within your Will as Wills are often read after a funeral or cremation has already taken place.

Listing your asset. Remember, your assets (property, savings, pensions and other investments, cars, and other personal possessions ) may be different from the time you write your will to the moment you pass away. If you own a property jointly, this will be treated differently than if you own the property in your own name.

You should also include a list of the beneficiaries in your Will. This list can be as long or short as you like and can include anyone you would like to leave something to including friends, families and charities. Be mindful that depending upon whom you leave things to, there will be inheritance tax considerations and also remember that because there are different ways gifts are made in a Will, there is an order in which they are paid i.e. some of the beneficiaries might not receive everything you were hoping they would receive.

How we can help

We have a proven track-record of helping clients draft their Wills. This includes relatively straightforward estates but also complex estates where assets are held all over the world or where family businesses are involved. We are a multidisciplinary firm and have all the expertise inhouse to satisfy the most exacting requirements of our clients. We will guide you through all the necessary legal due diligence in a comprehensive and timely manner. We firmly believe that with the right solicitors by your side, the entire process will seem more manageable and far less daunting.

How to Contact Our Wills and Probate Solicitors

It is important for you to be well informed about the issues and possible implications of writing a Will. However, expert legal support is crucial in terms of ensuring your final wishes are met as you would want them to be.

To speak to our Wills and Probate solicitors today, simply call us on 0345 901 0445, or click here to make a free enquiry. We are well known across the country and can assist wherever you are based. We also have offices based in Cheshire and London.

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