Writing a Will is one of those tasks that everyone knows they need to do, but nobody really wants to. That’s because we’d much rather devote our time to thinking about living our lives, rather than what happens after we are gone. We aim to make the experience of writing your Will an easy and comfortable one, so you don’t need to put it off any longer.
Since we introduced our Will preparation service, we have been surprised by the number of people who don’t have a Will or any sort of estate plan in place. In fact, research shows that around 60% of British adults have not made a Will. It’s hard to believe that around 31 million people don’t mind what happens to their estate when they die, so what’s putting them off?
Here are some of the reasons for not having a Will that we have come across.
I don’t want to share the details of my financial situation.
The good news is that you don’t have to.
We don’t need to know the precise details of your financial situation and assets in order to prepare your Will properly. The questions we ask about your finances are very general, such as:
- Do you own any property or have a mortgage on a property?
- Do you own any property abroad?
- Do you have a pot of savings?
- Do you have any investments?
We only need general information because, hopefully, it will be a long time before your executors need to look at your Will to carry out your wishes, and the value of your assets will likely have changed by then.
If you ask us to look at planning to reduce your liability for Inheritance Tax, we will need to know more specific details about the value of your estate. Our tax experts can put together a plan to ensure your estate is as tax-efficient as possible.
I’m not sure what or who I should put in my Will.
Until you come to prepare your Will, you may not have given much thought to exactly who will get what when you die. We understand that it can be difficult to make decisions about a time in the future when you are no longer here.
In order to make it easy for you to make decisions on how your estate should be divided, our Barrister Intermediary, Sharon Rigden, follows a clear, effective fact-finding process designed to help you think about particular scenarios. As part of this process, Sharon plays a series of short videos that will prompt clients to think about the implications of certain events they may not have considered before.
The videos demonstrate how your Will can be affected by events such as:
- The marriage or remarriage of your spouse after you have gone
- The premature death of a beneficiary
- The marriage or divorce of a beneficiary
- A challenge from an excluded beneficiary.
Once the fact-find has been completed, Sharon will have a clear understanding of your circumstances and the Will can be drafted. She will ensure that it is legally valid and a precise summary of your wishes.
I simply want everything to go to my partner. Won’t that happen automatically?
If you are not married to your partner, regardless of how long you have been together, they are not automatically entitled to anything from your estate – unless it is specifically stated in your Will. Writing a Will is the only way to make sure your partner will get what they are entitled to.
This is one of the most common mistakes people make in regard to their Will. You can learn more about the mistakes you should avoid here.
I already have a Will.
Even if you don’t think your circumstances have changed significantly since you wrote your Will, it is a good idea to have the document reviewed every few years. It is worth noting that if you remarry your Will automatically becomes invalid. If you have a child, it is also important to specify a guardian for them should the worst happen.
We provide a complimentary Will review service to check that your documents are still valid and a true reflection of your wishes.
By keeping your Will up-to-date and structuring your financial affairs in the most tax-efficient way, you can protect your estate and your loved ones from unnecessary stress, tax and professional fees. RfM can offer you advice on the best way to:
- Protect against generational inheritance tax
- Give beneficiaries instant access to inheritance
- Reduce or eliminate the cost of probate.
For information about Inheritance Tax Planning, please speak to your usual advisor, contact one of or offices or enquire online.