Royal London, the largest mutual insurer in the UK did a study in 2018 which revealed that 5.4 million adults in the UK don’t have a will and wouldn’t know where to begin. Failing to write one, or having an invalid will, can have devastating consequences for your family and is best avoided.
Most people get help from a local solicitor to assist with writing their will. The process is often quick, easy and highly affordable. However, if you are tempted to write one yourself by using a template bought from a stationery shop, then it pays to know a few risks before proceeding.
The Guardian once ran an article sharing the dangers of DIY wills which makes a thoughtful read, as it highlights many examples and the dire consequences. In this post, we highlight three prevalent issues with a DIY will:
With 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK and each of them being affected in different ways, it is essential to get the legal affairs sorted following a diagnosis.
A person who has been diagnosed with dementia can still write their will, as long as they have ‘testamentary capacity’ – a legal term used to describe a person’s legal and mental ability to make or alter a will. This concept, also referred to as ‘sound, mind and memory’, is illustrated if the person can show that they understand the effect of their will.
To prevent any doubts or future complications, it’s best to get an independent medical opinion from a healthcare professional to substantiate that the person making the will has the mental capacity to do so. Also engage a solicitor to help with the process, as this is not a time to save some money by creating a DIY will but paying a higher price later.
A will is a legal document in which you can express how you want your estate (property, money and possessions) to be distributed after you have died. This document names an executor who will carry out your wishes, and it usually includes who will look after your children, and how your debts and taxes will be paid.
Given the gravity of a will and the consequences it will have on your family in the future, employing a dedicated specialist solicitor to ensure it’s undeniably correct is the best route to take. Our solicitors are experts in the process of drafting wills, certifying that your interests are adequately protected.
Without a will, there is no guarantee that your estate will go to the people or the causes that you had in mind. For example, if you and your partner aren’t married or in a civil partnership, your partner won’t have the right to inherit any of your assets. You can read more about “What happens if I don’t make a will” on this page.
The legal process of making a will can be simplified with the help of an experienced solicitor. You need to be at least 18 years of age to make a valid legal will, and there are several steps involved which your solicitor can guide you through. When you start, it’s important to understand the value of your assets, before deciding how you want to divide and distribute them.
A valid will needs to:
Navigating the legal intricacies of making a will on your own is tricky, mainly when you’re not seeking professional advice. It’s essential for the language in your will to be clear and concise otherwise, the courts will have to interpret what your intentions were, or risk having your will proven as invalid.
The top five common mistakes include:
At Romain Coleman, our wills and probate solicitors in London believe that making your will should be a straightforward and affordable process. We can advise and help you to structure your will so that it remains valid and protects your family’s future.
With the guidance of a qualified solicitor, those who have dementia will also have a voice through a professionally written will, which can’t be questioned down the line.
To find out more about our will writing service, contact our experienced team of solicitors on 0208 520 4555 or via our Contact Form.
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