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A New Year resolution needs Will power

7th January 2020

As soon as Christmas has been unwrapped our attention soon turns to the New Year; not just the party to welcome in the new decade, but the making of resolutions.

This time-honoured exercise in defeatism usually ends within weeks, with little weight lost, no increase in exercise or a big idea planned to completion.

But one simple resolution everyone should consider, especially if they are in the majority that have so far paid little heed for its need, is to draft a Will.

We understand it makes you contemplate your own mortality and is easy to put off, but writing a Will is a good way to provide for the future of the nearest and dearest you have probably just enjoyed the Christmas festivities with.

Shocking statistics on Wills

At the time of year, when 90 per cent of British families put up a Christmas tree, many would be shocked to learn that more than 50 per cent of the UK’s adult population have not written a Will.

Wills are rarely discussed in a family conversation and making it a New Year’s resolution, with a February 29 deadline (you get an extra day this year) for getting it drafted is a great start.

As young adults mature and begin their working lives, it is perhaps excusable for them to think of their future and ignore the need to draft a Will, especially with little to bequeath.

But once marriage, home-ownership and parenthood become realities, to become one of the six in 10 parents that do not have a Will, or have one that is out of date, is inexcusable. When you consider the ease with which a Will can be drafted and updated, there really is no excuse.

Parents need Will power

Central to the Christmas story is birth and parenthood, which makes it even more a good time for parents with young children to consider and make a Will.

An up to date Will also ensures the children are provided for financially, with any inheritance planned using Trusts to remove the risk of a large lump sum being made available to an immature adult on their 18th birthday.

It is not widely known that marriage invalidates an existing Will of either party. So, it is critical to the future happiness of you and your family that you constantly review your Wills, particularly after significant life events, like marriage, divorce, parenthood, bereavement etc.

Solicitors have Will power

More than half of the population use a solicitor to help draft a Will, a process described by most as quick and simple. Some people are prepared to have a go at writing their own Will, but many admit to needing professional help to finalise the document.

You can find plenty of information to help draft your own Will, but you should recognise the risk involved if you don’t use a solicitor.

The Will may not be valid if it is incorrectly signed and witnessed. If certain terms of the Will are unclear, gifts may fail to be bequeathed and your specific wishes may not be carried out as you had hoped.

We would always advise everybody to consider making a Will and make it a New Year resolution for 2020 to talk to the experienced Wills, Trusts & Probate team here at Ansons, who will take you through the process and help you every step of the way.

For further information please speak to Adam Penn, Associate Director of Ansons, on 01543 431196 or email: apenn@ansonssolicitors.com