Making a Will: Things to Keep in Mind

Jul 26, 2013
Making a Will: Things to Keep in Mind

Having remarried at the age of 48, making a Will was one of the first things I did. I think to some, the thought of putting a Will in place sounds morbid or perhaps in some extreme cases mercenary, but actually it is the complete opposite. I put a Will in place to ensure that both my new wife and my grown up daughter were protected if I popped my clogs; I think one of the kindest things you can do.

In fact my wife and I didn’t even wait to get married to make a Will. We actually did it before the wedding, prior to going on one of our first holidays abroad. For some reason, the thought of getting on a plane and leaving the country in my mind increased the risk of something happening to one of us, so we both wanted to ensure that we were protected and equally as important, our families were taken care of. Mind you I have to admit to having a real fear of flying so this may have had something to do with it!

Making a Will is pretty straightforward these days and can be done a number of ways. You just need to think about your wishes and then:

•  Do it today - don’t put it off any longer
•  Make sure your Will is legally valid

In many cases people assume that their belongings will naturally go to the person closest to them, be it a wife, husband or child. Never ever assume! If there is no Will in place, your estate will be distributed according to the rules of Intestacy; basically the state decides who inherits what and in what priority. 

The rules of intestacy are pretty old and antiquated and certainly don’t take into account the lives we lead today. For example they make no provision for unmarried couples who have no rights at all; regardless of how long they have been together. So a surviving partner will not inherit anything that is in the sole name of the deceased. 

Even married couples may not be entitled to the full inheritance and could find a percentage of the estate being divided up amongst family members.

The thing is these days our lives do tend to be pretty complex. Whether you are married, remarried, separated, divorced or living with someone; if you have children, step children or grandchildren, these are all good reasons for making a Will. At the end of the day we just don’t know what life will throw at us so why leave it to chance.

When it comes down to making a Will, there are a number of options available. You can opt for a DIY Will or use an online Will writing service. Whatever you choose, you need to make sure the Will is legally valid as if not, it may not be worth the paper it’s written on. 

You can do this either by taking a trip to the solicitors, making sure the company you use is regulated and belongs to the Institute of Professional Will Writers, or you could use an online service like our Over50choices Legal Services team, where a team of experts help guide you through the process, producing a Will that covers all your requirements. 

For more information on Wills including the different types and how to ensure your Will is legally valid, just visit our site.

As always we’d love to hear your stories about Wills. Are you planning to write a Will yourself? Have you already made one? What was your experience? Have you been at the receiving end or perhaps embroiled in a family argument (now I’m beginning to sound like Jeremy Kyle!!)? Whatever your experience, happy or sad, please get in touch.   

By Ashley Shepherd

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