Wokingham Rocks

Why Having an Up-to-Date Will is Important

Why Having an Up-to-Date Will is Important

Rachel Burnett,  Associate Solicitor, Blandy & Blandy

A Will is a legal document that sets out how you would like your estate to be handled in the event of your death. Making a Will enables you to:

  • Make provision for your wife, husband or partner, your family members and friends
  • Appoint guardians for your children 
  • Establish trust funds to look after your children’s financial future
  • Provide for any specific wishes you may have regarding the bequest of certain items of property or sums of money to friends, relatives or charities
  • Plan the distribution of your estate advantageously for tax purposes
  • State your wishes regarding your funeral arrangements
  • Appoint executors to administer your estate in accordance with the terms of your Will

You do not have to be wealthy to need a Will. Indeed some of the most complicated problems arise from the smallest of estates. However, your estate could be worth much more than you think.

If you die without making a Will then your estate will be administered in accordance with the Intestacy Rules.

The Intestacy Rules are a set of strict rules that have been set down by Parliament and dictate how your estate will be administered and distributed. This will often lead to the administration being more complicated and could result in your estate being passed to down to people you do not wish to benefit from your estate. A spouse may not automatically receive your whole of the estate. If your children or parents are still alive, your spouse will receive a proportion, with the remainder going to your children or even, in certain situations, your parents. This can have the most unfortunate and inconvenient consequences for everyone, often causing serious financial problems and family disputes.

You can buy a “Will kit” and write out your own, but this can often prove to be a false economy. It may not save time or money in the end and may well cause serious complications for your family. Any mistakes you make, or important matters you leave out, will only be known after your death, which is, of course, too late.

Many of the mistakes are made when it comes to signing and witnessing the Will, which if done incorrectly invalidates the whole Will. Worse still, a badly drawn Will could result in your estate going to the wrong people, which could cause untold hardship or distress.

The majority of Wills are fairly straightforward and it is therefore not expensive to have one professionally drafted. Even if a complicated Will costs you a little more you can be sure it is a good investment, which buys peace of mind for you and your family.

Blandy & Blandy is a leading Thames Valley law firm with offices in Wokingham, Henley-on-Thames and Reading. For further information or legal advice, please call 0118 951 6888 or visit www.blandy.co.uk