At such a time as this, when death reports in the media aren’t connected with some natural disaster in far-off places but are much closer and much more personal, we should remember that one of the most fundamental pieces of financial planning we should all do is have an up to date Will in place to ensure our wishes are met on our death.
And, perhaps more importantly, that our nearest and dearest do not have their grief compounded by a lack of clear instructions about how our Estate should be dealt with.
So, if you don’t have a Will already, go out and get one drawn up by a Solicitor (other Will writers are available but our experience shows that Solicitors are the best resource in this area by far). Make it an absolute priority.
If you do have a Will already, ask yourself the following questions: –
- When was it written? Does it reflect your current wishes?
- Is it still valid? Wills are invalidated on marriage but not on divorce.
- Do your Executors know/remember their duties? Are your original Executors still alive and capable of dealing with your Estate?
- Have you had more children/grandchildren since the Will was originally written that you would like to make specific provision for?
- Are your funeral instructions up to date? Would you prefer one of the no frills services that have become popular recently or maybe a more environmentally friendly burial?
- Where is your Will (the original document) and have you informed your Executors of its location?
It’s all too easy to sit back and bask in the knowledge that you have done what you needed to and had a Will drawn up. But, like so many things, you need to ensure it is current.
A Will that is many years old and does not reflect your current situation can be as bad as having no Will at all.
Finally, would you like to think of your legacy being “S/he was a lovely person but s/he didn’t half leave a right mess when they died because no-one knew what s/he really wanted to happen”?
Note: We work closely with a number of solicitors and would be happy to make a recommendation