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Wills and Will Storage

Many people fear that planning for your own death is tempting fate or somehow ‘morbid’, nothing could be further from the truth. Preparing a Will is simply a way of ensuring that your loved ones are provided for upon your death – much in the same way that you would take out a life assurance policy when you take out a mortgage or you have children.

By making a Will that we set down our wishes for after our death in a legally binding fashion.

Failure to prepare may result in your loved ones not receiving what you thought they would and could incur additional Inheritance Tax being paid to the Inland Revenue.

Making a will is one of the most important transactions you can make, ensuring that your affairs will be handled efficiently and that your loved ones are saved from undue stress.

If you do not have a will, you will be deemed Intestate and the Law will decide who will inherit your possessions. This can cause severe problems particularly for unmarried couples who are not guaranteed to inherit at all. Therefore they may have to endure expensive and stressful court battles.

Having a will means that you can:

  • Choose people who you trust to act as Executor/s.
  • Appoint guardians to have responsibility of your minor dependants.
  • Decide who should receive particular items (gifts) that have a sentimental value.
  • Provide for friends or charities or those dependant on you.
  • Help prevent disputes within the family by making your wishes clear.
  • Help minimise tax liabilities after your death in some circumstances.

Dying without a Will (known as intestate)

Many people die without leaving a will: this can cause real issues to family members. If you don’t have a Will, how your estate is distributed will depend upon a number of factors at the time of your death – for example, the number of surviving relatives and their relationship to you. This may mean that the people you really care about do not inherit what you would like or expect them to. Importantly, if you do not have any living relatives, or they cannot be traced, your assets will pass to the Crown.

Myths and Realities

Setting up a Will is too expensive: Although there is a cost to setting up a Will, it is relatively minor when compared to the costs incurred when administering the assets of a person who dies intestate. You may also be passing up the opportunity to save tax and provide long term asset protection for future generations.

I don’t intend dying yet: Luckily, none of us know our date of death. Although if we did, life would be somewhat simpler. Although we are living longer than ever before, illness and accidents can and do hit anyone of us.

I will get around to it eventually: According to Will Aid, 47% of people have written a Will. This means that up to 27 million adults do not have a Will. Shockingly, a third of us will die intestate. Yes, you will need to give some thought to who you want to inherit, and yes, there will be a modest cost, but is there really any need for you to delay?

I made my Will years ago:  Whilst no one wants to be seen to waste money, the reality is that lives change, we have births, marriages and deaths, some of which may mean that the Will you originally set up is no longer valid, or no longer reflects their wishes.

Click here: for our guidance on factors to consider when making your will.

Will Storage

It is very important that your will document is kept in a safe and secure place once it has been executed so that it can’t be damaged or tampered with. The original is required when the grant of probate is applied for.

We are able to offer safe and secure storage of your will (and any other important documents) for a modest annual fee. It is very important that your executors know where your will is stored. We provide you (and your beneficiaries, if requested) with a certificate of custody once your will has been stored.

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