Anna-Marie Knipe an Associate Solicitor with Birchall Blackburn, Solicitors in Hough Lane in Leyland, answers some of the most common questions asked by our clients:
Do I really need a will?
Yes, you absolutely do. Wills are not just for the elderly. No-one wants to cause any additional distress to their loved ones after they die, so we recommend that all our clients have an up to date Will. If you are a parent of children who are under 18 it is doubly important as, by making a Will, you can make sure your wishes for your children’s future care will be taken into account after your death by choosing the most suitable people to be responsible for looking after your children and their inheritance.
Do I still need a will if I am married. Won’t everything go to my spouse?
Even if you are married, if you don’t make a will your husband or wife may not inherit all of your assets. By making a will you can ensure that they benefit from your assets and at the same time you can build in some protection in the event that your husband or wife needs to go into residential care. Making a will can also ensure that your children can inherit your assets even if your husband or wife were to remarry or have a future relationship. If you are unmarried, making a Will ensures your hard earned money and property goes to precisely the people you would like to benefit. If you have a partner, you can ensure their position is protected whilst also safeguarding the inheritance of any children from a previous relationship.
What happens if I don’t have a will?
Research shows that one in three people die in the UK without making a Will, potentially leaving their family and friends with acrimony, distress and possible legal fees. Failure to put your affairs in order and make a Will can have devastating effects on loved ones, leaving them to sort out complex issues in the middle of their grief.
How can I make sure my estate goes to the people I want it to go to?
Dying without a Will means inflexible laws, known as Intestacy Laws, dictate who will receive your money and property. This can mean people who you would not have chosen may inherit from your estate. Make a Will and seize the opportunity to decide for yourself who should benefit from your money and property – whether it’s your relatives, friends or charities.
I’ve seen ‘Will packs’ in the shops and cheap Wills advertised in the local paper – why should I use a solicitor?
Your Will is an extremely important document. If it isn’t prepared correctly, it can lead to disastrous and costly consequences. By using a firm of solicitors that specialises in this area of law, you have the reassurance of knowing that one of the most important documents you will ever make has been prepared by professional experts, regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
What are the potential consequences of the cheaper option?
There have been a number of recent high-profile investigations into Will writing companies where lack of regulation has allowed them to adopt high-pressure selling techniques and offer low cost deals that tie unwitting consumers into other expensive services. At Birchall Blackburn we can give you trustworthy, professional advice on current laws and discuss all available options to safeguard your future and that of your family.
Anna-Marie, who is a member of the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners and Solicitors For the Elderly, would be delighted to discuss any queries that you may have, on a no obligation basis, in relation to Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Probate or any other Elderly Client issue. Please feel free to call her on 01772 427610 for further information