Seven out of ten people die in
They die without protecting their relatives and ensuring their hard earned wealth and assets go to those whom they loved. Many married people assume that when they die, everything will pass automatically to their spouse. This is not true and sadly it is a misunderstanding that can cause serious hardship to the wife or husband who is left behind.
Only if you have no living relatives will your spouse automatically get everything. Without a Will, the law decides how your possessions should be divided and if there are children or other close living relatives -even cousins- they may have a claim on the property of the deceased. This can result in a widow/er having to sell the family home because other relatives are entitled to a share in the value. The deciding of "who gets what" can lead to complicated legal disputes, which could take months or even years to sort out, entailing expensive legal fees.
If you make a proper Will none of these unfortunate events occur. Your Will allows you to clearly explain what what your wishes are. It advisable that every individual should make their own Will.
Generally very few of us expect to die in the near future - most of us have every expectation of going on for years. Sometimes there are issues which are difficult to discuss with family members. Another reason is Will making is often thought to be time consuming and complicated but this is not necessarily the case.
(1) You should make sure that the Will is drawn up legally. A fairly small fee paid to a solicitor or professional will-writer can ensure that your Will is legally correct thus guaranteeing that your estate will be distributed as you wish. Many people wrongly believe that a personally written note of their wishes is sufficient to be considered as a Will. However lawyers make more money out of unravelling badly made do-it-yourself Wills than from drawing them up correctly in the first place!
(2) You will need an Executor, this is someone appointed by you in your Will. He/she may be a friend, relation, solicitor, bank manager or anyone you know well enough to trust to handle your estate and ensure that it is distributed as you wish.
(3) You need to calculate the value of your estate. It is important you have some idea of your assets and liabilities before you make your Will.
Even if you already have a Will the value of your estate is subject to many changes over the years. You may need to consider how your circumstances have changed since your Will was made, as they may well affect the validity of your Will.
Ask yourself the following questions:
If you want to make relatively minor alterations or additions the simplest way to change your Will is by making a Codicil. This is an instruction which is added to the provisions of your existing Will by your solicitor.
However, if there are any significant changes in your circumstances, you would be best advised to start afresh and make a completely new Will. This certainly applies if there has been a change in your marital status as well as if there has been a significant increase or decrease in the value of your estate.