Drawing up a will is not expensive, nor is it difficult or time consuming.
You only need to consult specialist wills and probate solicitors and have them draw up the legally-binding will for you, and you can rest assured that should something happen to you, your family and friends and your other loved ones will be cared for after your death. Avoiding a horrendous contested will battle is often as simple as that.
Live in the Ringwood or New Forest area? Need help with a new or updated will? Call our experienced team on (01425) 652110 for no strings attached FREE initial phone advice.
If you are looking for help with writing a will, the specialist private client team here at local Fordingbridge law firm Bonallack & Bishop, can help [we merged in 2017 with long established Fordingbridge Solicitors, Jacksons].
Your will – the need for a regular review
What is equally important is that you review your will from time to time. and update it when necessary. Modern life is becoming ever more complicated. Mortgages get paid off, new life insurances or pensions taken out – and that’s quite apart from the increasingly complicated family lives we lead – with an increasing number of people having children with more than one partner.
Wills need to be updated regularly, in order that you can ensure the contents still reflect your wishes and your current personal and financial situation.
What’s more, an old will that has not been regularly updated, can be more easily contested by family members who could argue that your wishes had since changed.
Don’t just take our word for it – even the UK government recommend that “You should review your will every 5 years and after any major change in your lifee”.
An up-to-date will – especially important for those living together
In the last 30 years, cohabiting has become so very much more popular. And currently it is estimated that around one in six couples live together outside marriage and without having entered a civil partnership.
But in doing so, if they don’t have a will, they are putting themselves at considerable risk. In short, with the exception of jointly owned property, dying without leaving a valid and up to date will, could leave your partner with little financial security. Don’t take that risk. Book an appointment with one of our private client team today.
Click here to read more about Cohabitation and Wills
An up-to-date will – critical for tax planning
According to the old saying “the only thing certain in life are death and taxes”. But while no one eventually cheats the Grim Reaper, proper tax and estate planning carried out alongside a carefully drafted will, can make a huge difference to the tax your family will have to pay when you pass on.
Our experienced solicitors can discuss your particular position and talk through any available approaches where you can legally and legitimately reduce your tax bill. And with the average house in Ringwood now worth £513,033 (according to Rightmove in April 2023) and with 40% inheritance tax due on the value of Estates over just £285,000, it is not just the rich who are at risk of paying substantial amounts of inheritance tax. you may be surprised to find how much you can reduce the tax bill to be paid when you pass – so there’s more money available to leave to the loved ones you leave behind.
So don’t leave tax planning to chance – call our specialist team today for a FREE no strings attached Wills review appointment.
Click here to read more about inheritance tax planning and how a combination of Wills and Trusts can form a critical part of your wealth management plan.
Your Free Will Review
Not entirely sure whether you need to update your Will? Take advantage of our offer and call our team today to book your FREE no obligation appointment.
Your will and the importance of letting your family know your wishes
Although it sounds obvious, it’s remarkable how often those left behind are really reassured by knowing the clear wishes of their lost loved one. It often really helps them deal with their loss.
And quite apart from making sure you made the right financial arrangements for your loved ones, many people find it really helpful to include details of the funeral service. In particular is there a particular type of funeral you would prefer? Do you want to be cremated or buried? It’s surprising how often that leaving these kind of decisions to those left behind, can add stress to their situation – as there is another decision to be made. And, even sadder, on occasions families fallout about those funeral arrangements. And all that could be avoided with estate few simple sentences in your will.
In addition, a well thought out and properly drafted will goes a long way to avoid family arguments. So it’s really important that you make clear to everyone exactly how you want your property divided. This often makes a real difference in avoiding inheritance claims or contested probate applications.
Wills and divorce
Couples who separate but do not divorce need to make a Will urgently, because in the absence of a will to the contrary, current law provides for a deceased persons estate to go to their spouse – regardless of whether they are separated or not.
My circumstances have changed – is it possible to change my will?
Yes. Many people find that the will they previously put in place no longer reflects their wishes. For example, you should always consider changing your will after divorce, and you might remarry and decide that you’d like your new spouse to be named as a beneficiary. Life inevitably brings with it many changes, so it’s a good idea to review your will from time to time to make sure that it continues to meet your needs.
Can I just add the changes to my original will?
No. If your will has been signed and witnessed, then you can’t just go ahead and add things to it afterwards – this will automatically invalidate it. Instead, you need to add a clause known as a codicil. This leaves the bulk of your will instructions intact, but updates the will to include new information, e.g. instructions for specific legacies, or changes to named beneficiaries and executors.
The alternative to a codicil is to destroy the original will and write a brand-new one.
What is the correct way to add a codicil?
Codicils need to be signed and witnessed in the same way as your main will document. You can use a codicil to make small changes and alterations to your existing Will. But, as for wills, although you can write your own codicil, it is just as dangerous, probably even more so than creating your own DIY will from scratch. Don’t take chances – get in touch with our experienced Wills team for a free Wills review.
Who can change my Will once I have passed away?
It is extremely rare for a properly written Will to be changed once the testator has passed away. However, ambiguous wording may lead to a will challenge.
If you have not given any of your estate to dependents or been “unfair” in how you have distributed your estate to (former) spouses or (former) civil partners, the Court may alter your Will in response to a disputed will claim. If you have reasons why you didn’t provide for these people, you should state these in your Will, as they will be used to help the Court come to a decision.
Former spouses that have remarried will not be able to appeal against your Will.
Are there situations in which a Court can change my Will?
It goes without saying that only the people you name as beneficiaries will receive your estate. If you don’t want to include someone, you can put a clause stating that they are not included. Certain people, namely your children under 16 and your spouse, can make an inheritance claim by applying to the Court under the 1975 Inheritance Act if they feel that they did not receive a sufficient proportion of the estate.
Click here to read about making or defending an Inheritance Act Claim
Can one of the beneficiaries also be an executor of my will?
Yes, that’s perfectly okay. However if you are looking to appoint an executor who is also a beneficiary, then it’s essential that the person in question doesn’t witness your will. The reason is simple – if they do witness your Will, they lose their right to their share of your estate.
Want to know more about making or updating your Will?
Click here to read our Will Writing FAQs
Further ways our private client team can help you?
- Drafting lasting powers of attorney
Click into find out more about the Lasting Power of Attorney
- Creating trusts – for wealth protection and tax planning purposes
Click into read more about our Trust Solicitors
- Managing existing trusts
Click into read more about our Professional Trustee Solicitors Service
- Handling probate – we can either act as professional executors, handling the whole of the estate alternatively leave years executors and provide a resource for help when you need it
Click here to read more about how probate solicitors can help you
- Court of Protection Deputyship work – both an application to the court of protection and our appointment as professional deputies to manage the affairs of people who have lost the capacity to do so themselves
- Click here to read more about our Court of Protection Solicitors
- Wills to provide for those with learning disabilities and made by those with learning disabilities themselves
Click here to read more about Wills for the Learning Disabled
Live in Ringwood? Want a New Will? Get In Touch with Us Today
Your will is your final dying wish and will ensure that your legacy lives on, helping to avoid any future family problems which could linger for years after you’re gone.
By speaking to a specialist wills and probate solicitor, you can obtain all of the advice and help you need in order to ensure you are able to provide a legacy for your family and loved ones in the event of your death – and avoid the risk of any unnecessary contested will or inheritance claims.
- Call us on (01425) 652110 OR
- E-mail us using the contact form below
5, Provost Street,