On the first day of Christmas Browns Solicitors gave to me their first top tip on making a Will.
If you are unmarried without a Will your partner is not automatically entitled to inherit from your estate on death but could make claims through the courts, reducing the estate you may want to pass to your children. Legal advice should always be sought in this situation to make sure your wishes would be carried out.
If you and your child’s other parent died together without a Will the Social Services would have to take the children into care and the courts would eventually decide where the children should live. You can make a Will naming guardians to avoid further stress for your children.
On the third day of Christmas Browns Solicitors gave to me a father for my baby
If an unmarried mother dies in childbirth the father has no automatic rights over the child as he only gets parental responsibility on the registration of the birth. An order of the court would be needed before even a heel prick test can be carried out on the baby. The mother can make a Will naming the father of the unborn child as guardian.
On the fourth day of Christmas Browns Solicitors gave to me a share to my children of equity
If you have been married before you may not wish for all your estate to pass to your new spouse. You can let your spouse live in the family home for life, but leave your share to your own children by preparing a Will.
On the fifth day of Christmas Browns Solicitors gave to me 5 gold rings….
If families are going to fall out it is more likely to be over the division of personal belongings rather than the division of cash. Give this thought when making a Will. Make a record in your Will, or letter of wishes, to help your family divide your jewellery and family heirlooms.
On the sixth day of Christmas Browns Solicitors gave to me advice for my disabled beneficiaries.
If you have a child or beneficiary who is disabled you may want to consider a Disabled Child Trust so that your beneficiary will still be entitled to means tested benefits in the future.
On the seventh day of Christmas Browns Solicitors gave to me a choice of either side of the family
When considering guardians for the children they do not have to live in the same household (just as parents do not). So, if you are trying to decide which side of the family to ask, maybe choose both sides.
On the eighth day of Christmas Browns Solicitors gave to me the control over the release of my child monies.
Consider carefully what age you would want your children to inherit. If you do not make a Will they will inherit at the age of 18. You may wish to protect them by having the money held on trust until they are older, or paid out in smaller sums over a period of time. This can all be recorded in a Will.
On the 9th day of Christmas Browns Solicitors gave to me peace of mind for if I marry
If you have made a Will but then later marry, that Will is now void (unless it contains a clause saying it was in contemplation of marriage). If you made a Will and later divorce then your Will is read as if your former spouse had died.
On the tenth day of Christmas Browns Solicitors gave to me advice for signing my will properly.
Many people have good intentions about making a Will but either do not sign it, sign it without witnesses or sign it with the wrong witnesses. It may then be void or assets may not pass to your chosen beneficiaries. Ensure your Will is checked by an expert.
On the eleventh day of Christmas Browns Solicitors gave to me a safe with a lock and a key.
Don’t hide your Will away. The safest place for your Will is with a solicitor or the bank (not in a metal box at home). We store our clients Wills without charge and register them for free on the Certainty National Will Register.
On the twelfth day of Christmas Browns Solicitors gave to me their twelfth and final top tip that you’ll need!
Choose your Executors wisely. These do not have to be people who know about money and investments or legal issues, there are expert lawyers and financial advisors that can help them on these issues. They should instead be people you trust to carry out your wishes. They should also be people who are able to communicate with each other and get along (so not two children who haven’t spoken to each other in 20 years!). They must be over the age of 18 and, if they are holding money on Trust for beneficiaries, you need to consider how old the Executors will be when that trust comes to an end.
Why not put making a Will top of your New Year’s Resolution list for 2017. Contact us for a free consultation with Jane Lodeto to make a new Will or to review your current Wills.