5 of the Best Ways to Set Up a Will
Making a will isn’t something anyone enjoys, but it’s an important part of growing older. We’re going to discuss five of the best ways to set up a will to ensure your loved ones are protected and your wishes are followed through.
Did you know that nearly two-thirds of UK adults don’t have a Will? Believe it or not, the number of people creating a will has actually increased because of deaths during the pandemic. Despite this, the majority are still without.
The disadvantages of dying ‘intestate’ – without a will – are plentiful. With intestacy laws in the UK generally distributing property at death to the surviving spouse or descendants, it’s often not a plan that is fit for unmarried couples or blended families. So, why is it that so many decide not to make a will before their death?
Studies have shown that some people feel uncomfortable telling strangers their personal details, while others aren’t ready to make important life decisions. Other reasons include family conflict and the belief that young people don’t need wills. In this article, we aim to show you that making a will doesn’t need to be as complicated, expensive or long-winded as many might believe. Read on to find out the five best ways to start…
1. Work with a Solicitor
The easiest way to set up a will is to arrange a meeting with a solicitor and seek legal professional advice. It is generally advised that you use a solicitor, or at least have a solicitor to check over a will you have drawn up, to avoid common mistakes and to make sure it details everything you want.
It is far more difficult to alter a will once it has been formalised, and requires a process called rectification to change the mistakes. Historically, most clerical errors have involved typographical mistakes, and though the mistakes may be minor, they can cost an awful amount of money to rectify.
A solicitor will charge for their services in drawing up or checking a will, but they’ll be able to give you accurate and well-informed information, as well as provide you with peace of mind. Unfortunately, when you pass, there’s nothing you can do if a problem does arise, so it would be left to your loved ones to sort out.
The charges for will services vary between solicitors and depend on the intricacy of the will. Before deciding on who to use, it’s always sensible to check with a few local solicitors to find out how much they charge and if they specialise in an area that you’re finding particularly difficult to understand.
2. Use a Will-Writing Firm
As well as contacting a solicitor, there are several will-writing services, like Baldock will writers, that you can reach out to for advice. Will-writing services tend to be a lower-cost alternative to using a solicitor, with prices starting at under £100.
Unfortunately, most will-writing firms aren’t fully regulated, so they won’t safeguard you if things go wrong. Unlike using a solicitor, you often aren’t protected, and you’ll be fully liable for the mistakes, unable to claim for professional negligence.
With that in mind, it’s worth checking whether it’s a member of a recognised professional or trade body, such as the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, the Institute of Professional Willwriters (IPW) or the Society of Will Writers (SWW).
3. Create a DIY Will
Another option is to create your own will – often online. Sometimes, there is no need for a will to be drawn up or witnessed by a solicitor. Particularly if you have a lawyer in the family or are well versed in the legal matters at hand.
That said, you should follow strict guidelines when creating your will to avoid any mishaps. Generally, it’s a good idea to research online and read through several books which guide drafting up your will.
Often, you’ll find printable forms online. These can help you decide what’s most important and help you to format your will.
Some of the most common mistakes people make when writing their own will include not being aware of the formal requirements, failing to take account of all the money and property, and failing to include a beneficiary.
4. Talk to Your Beneficiaries
A beneficiary is a person or entity you name in a life insurance policy to receive the death benefit. Usually, these are the deceased’s relations or close friends.
Many people prefer to seek advice from their friends and family when drafting a will to ensure that their loved ones are fully aware of the affairs that will pan out after their death. It can also help you to make an informed decision based on their feedback.
Though transparency to family members can often prove beneficial, in some cases, it can cause upset and conflict. It’s important to consider this possible outcome before divulging your affairs with family members. It may be that seeking advice from a third party – such as a solicitor or will-writing service – provides you with a more accurate and unbiased opinion.
5. Visit Citizens Advice
Finally, if you are unsure of how to proceed or are in any doubt as to how you can set up a will, you should consult a solicitor or a Citizens Advice local office who can give you lists of solicitors and firms to contact.
What’s more, if you can’t afford legal advice or support in court, you might be able to get free or cheaper help.
Have You Set Up a Will Yet?
Making a will can be daunting, but don’t let that stop you from starting to draft one. There are a number of firms and individuals that can help you, and it needn’t be a scary or long-winded process.
If your family and friends are your priority, it’s important to get your will in order sooner rather than later. After all, if we’ve learnt one thing from this past year, it’s that we never know what’s around the corner.
Guest Article. Contains a sponsored link.