WHY DO I NEED A WILL?

Heritage Will Writing encourages everyone to write a will to ensure that your estate goes to the people you want it to when you pass away. We also wish to encourage everyone with dependent children to have a will in place to make sure they have chosen somebody to look after and bring up their children.

Heritage Will Writing is a legal services company with offices in Southampton and Portsmouth servicing clients in the New Forest, Hampshire and neighbouring counties. We aim to provide a professional will writing service to clients in the comfort of their own homes.

We find clients often say they do not need to make a will, as they do not have considerable savings or property. We believe that everyone needs a will if they own any assets. Why spend years creating wealth and then make no arrangements for it after you have gone to provide for loved ones, friends or charities?

The present rules governing your estate if you die without a will have scant regard for your wishes. For more details, please look at our page What happens if I don’t have a will?

KEY DECISIONS

Even if your estate is modest, you will need to decide to whom you will leave it, although clearly your concern may not be as great as someone with vast estate to leave. Remember also that your will is more than simply deciding who gets what. It’s also about appointing responsible people to administer your estate. By writing a will, you choose who makes those important financial decisions.

Often the best time to start considering making a will is when you buy your first property. Unless you have a 100% mortgage, you will have some equity in the property and therefore something to leave. Also, when you start a family or a business it is vital that you write a will.

There is also the contents of the property to consider - and you may wish for them to go to a certain relation or friend on your death. If you own a property jointly, you will also need to make some form of provision if you die - particularly, if you wish to leave anything to your partner rather than your family.

WEDDING BELLS

Don’t forget,you will have to start again if you marry as marriage automatically revokes a will. As the surviving spouse does not automatically inherit everything, you will need a will to ensure your wishes are put into effect. Once you are married and have a will, it doesn’t end there.

CHILDREN

If you have children, then you will need to provide for them - and not just financially. Who is going to look after your children if you die whilst they are still dependent on you? You may have appointed Godparents when your children were christened, but this has no legal bearing on who becomes their guardian should something happen to you.

Here are some key questions:

  • Guardians: Who is going to bring your children up if you have both passed away?
  • How is their education to be funded?
  • Do you really want your children to get their hands on your money at 18 or would you rather safeguard it and them a little longer?

A properly drafted will can provide for all of these scenarios.

KEEPING UP TO DATE

As your estate becomes more valuable, you may need to renew or update your will. Regrettably, as you get older, the people you want to inherit your estate may die and you might need to review who gets left what in your will. Make sure you include substitute beneficiaries in the event that any of your main beneficiaries die or you may find family members that you may not have intended to benefit will receive everything.

If you have not made a will, do it now. And if you have already made a will, remember to review it regularly. Ask yourself:

  • Have the circumstances of any of your main beneficiaries changed?
  • Are you wealthier now than when you made your will?

There are no excuses for not making or reviewing your will. Act now, before it’s too late.