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Writing your Will is just the start

13th December 2018

Writing your Will is just the start.

A Will is a legal document that sets out your wishes regarding the distribution of your estate and the care of any minor children.

You must be at least 18 years old to make a Will (unless you are a solider on active duty or a sailor at sea in which case you can be any age) and every adult knows they really should make one.

There are a surprisingly high number of adults without a Will in the UK, as revealed in new research by Royal London, which puts the figure at 5.4 million. Perhaps more worryingly the research discovered that almost 60% of parents either do not have a Will or the one they have, is out of date.

It is perhaps more important for parents than any other group to have an up to date Will in case the worst happens, then at least their children would be brought up according to their wishes, by whom they choose.

Write your Will and update regularly

More than half (54%) of the adult population do not have a will and of those, one in four (24%) admitted they have no intention of making one, compared to a third (34%) who said that an illness would encourage them to do so.

Of those individuals who have written a Will, almost a third (31%) had experienced a significant life event such as marriage or having a baby, yet more than half (53%) have not updated their will.

Many people do not realise that if they get married, any previous Will is automatically invalidated and is no longer of any value, so it’s vital that Wills are reviewed regularly and kept up to date.

There are any number of reasons why people do not write Wills and we look at some of the most common here, just in case you or someone you know are struggling to complete your Will.

Speak to a solicitor

The most popular way of writing a Will remains using a solicitor, who can advise on the terms and what should be included. The best advice for anyone considering writing a Will for the first time, is not to try and include everything in the first attempt.

The key is to make your wishes known, but to re-visit the Will regularly to make allowances for changes in your life, like marriage, children, divorce or illness – without major changes a review every 5-6 years makes sense.

It is important to have a will, not just to protect your finances but to make sure vital decisions, such as who will look after your children, are recorded. Ensure your friends and family are aware of what you have done and where your will is held.

Property abroad needs a Will

With so much focus on Brexit and our relationship with Europe, anyone who owns property abroad, is advised to make a Will in that country, thanks to our rejection of the European Probate Law.

When you have a property in Spain, whether you are Resident or a Non-Resident, if you spend close to or more than half a year in Spain, but not necessarily consecutive days and if you have any Spanish assets, like a bank account, you should make a Spanish Will – in this Will you should include a clause that states you choose your National Law.

If you would like to make a Will or would like to speak to us for advice, please contact Marie Tisdale on 01543 267981 or mtisdale@ansonssolicitors.com