New Year, New Will?

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A new year provides an opportunity to start afresh, as I’m sure many have been longing for following 2020. Some may make new year’s resolutions to eat healthily, whilst others may decide to bring their affairs in order, for example by making a Will.

Why make a Will?

Making a Will is extremely important as it allows you to have complete control over who inherits your estate, money and possessions upon your death. A Will also allows you to arrange your affairs and appoint guardians for your children should you die whilst they are under 18, so it gives you peace of mind should anything happen to you that your children will be provided and cared for by the people you trust most. You also appoint executors and trustees in a Will – the people who administer your estate, manage any trusts created by your Will and carry out your wishes. Should you die without creating a Will, the ‘intestacy rules’ will then kick in which will dictate the distribution of your assets, which may result in somebody inheriting your estate and caring for your children contrary to your wishes. They would also dictate who would be responsible for the administration of your estate, and again, these may not be the best people to deal with carrying out your wishes.

Many people believe that if you are married, your estate will pass to your spouse automatically, and don’t therefore believe a Will is necessary. However, this is rarely the case, especially when you have children. Furthermore, should you want to leave specific gifts on death, such as a gift of family heirlooms or jewellery to a certain individual or a gift to charity, a Will is the only way to achieve this.

Why should I appoint a Legal Professional?

There has been a steep rise recently in companies and organisations offering cheap Will drafting services for as little as £10, which may sound inviting in the first instance; however this may lead to negative consequences for yourselves in the future, due to lack of legal expertise.  The Will drafted by them may not have the effect you want due to underlining legal principles. As well as this, there are strict rules in relation to the execution of a Will, and a Will which has not been validly executed can cause a great deal of difficulties and may be of no use.

Solicitors and legal professionals are expertly trained to draft and provide advice on Wills on a case by case basis, allowing the advice to be tailored to the client’s needs and circumstances. We can advise on how to best arrange your affairs from an Inheritance Tax point of view, leading to less burdens on your loved ones following your death. Our team will also ensure that your Will is legally valid to ensure your wishes are actually carried out following your death. Legal professionals can foresee potential issues and help avoid any conflicts and legal disputes between your loved ones following your death, which can lead to considerable legal costs, significantly reducing the amount of money left in your estate.

Going forward

We at Agri Advisor have a number of legal professionals who have years of experience specialising in providing advice in relation to Wills. We can advise on a broad range of circumstances, from Succession and Will planning for your farm or business, to providing Will and Tax advice to deal with personal possessions or properties. We can tailor our advice to suit you and aim to make you feel at ease during those dreaded conversations regarding who gets what after your days.

Should you wish to talk to an expert about creating a Will, then please contact a member of our Private Client Team on 01558 650381 to get the ball rolling.