Add Making A Will To Your To-Do List!
Blunt as it may sound, if you are putting off making a Will, planning on getting round to it at some stage. Be aware that this could be both costly and detrimental to the ones you love.
There may be many genuine reasons why you are putting off making your Will. For example, you may just not like thinking about your own mortality. You may be extremely busy with other elements of your life, always having the idea in the back of your mind planning to get around to it one day but you never seem to get there.
Rarely is the reason for not making a Will cost related, nowadays making a Will is a relativity cheap with single Wills coming in at around £95 and Mirror Wills £150.
Even utilising trusts as part of a full estate plan to protect against areas such as future inheritance tax and care home fees are within reach of most peoples finances. Especially when you consider that cost of such planning in most cases would only equate to around three weeks of care home fees in today’s terms.
Some would say a small price to pay when the alternative is being faced with the loss of your home and life savings.
Procrastinating on the process of making a Will can easily be avoided if we understand the reasons behind it.
I would imagine that there are not that many people out there who could honestly say “I don’t care about preserving what I have worked hard for in life, so it may benefit my family when I am gone”.
One factor that is often overlooked is the fact that people may find the subject of Will writing confusing and just don’t know where to start. This is where adding it to your TO-DO list can help.
By adding it to a TO-DO list you are consciously committing to starting the process. You have made it a goal that you want to achieve and prioritised it as important to resolve, based on what the potential risk of not doing it would bring.
How can a TO-DO list help me?
Don’t get me wrong by simply writing “Make A Will” on your TO-DO list is not going to be good enough because there are steps that need to be completed in order to get from A to B. These steps need to be prioritised and broken down into smaller chunks, its better to start gradually that do nothing at all.
Whether you use pen and paper or use apps on smartphones add it to your TODO list now!
Next, think about your current assets, what you have now, what you may receive in the future and how you would like to provide for your loved ones, should you die or go into care. Consider your wishes for such things as your Funeral, Inheritance Tax and Care Home Fee Planning.
If you are married or in a civil partnership check whether you own property jointly or as tenants in common as this can affect you later in life should you go into care.
If you have young children consider who you would want to be guardians should you die? Think about who you would want as Executors of your Will. Write down any concerns, questions you may have so you are prepared for the next step.
Now you have given some thought to how you would like to protect your assets and family in the future. It’s time to contact your Local Will Writer, Estate Planning Consultant or Solicitor.
A lot of people don’t get to this stage in the process because they see it as a barrier. They believe it will cost them to get the information they need to make an informed decision as to how to move forward in the Will writing process.
However, you need not worry the majority of Will writing professionals offer an initial free consultation so that you can discuss your wishes in full.
In fact, I would go as far to say if they cant spare some time initially to help you understand the process in plain and simple speak then they are certainly not the person to instruct to handle the writing of your Will.
Ask them to explain the process to you making sure you discuss any concerns that you may have.
Now that you have all the information pertinent to your personal circumstances and have been made aware of the costs involved. You are now almost ready to make a decision to instruct your Will to be written by your chosen professional.
Before giving the final go-ahead to your chosen Will writing professional be sure to check they provide you with the following:-
- A Terms of Business Document
- A Right to Cancel (7 days cooling off period)
- A Full Receipt for all Services Provided
- Personalised Estate Planning Report and Fact Sheets, for clients considering a full estate plan
- Provision of Draft Wills for checking prior to the issue of Final Legal Will & Trust Documentation
- Professional Indemnity Insurance, covering potential liability to clients up to £2,500,000
- Executor Guidance Document, explaining the role of an Executor
Your legal professional should also be on hand through the whole process right up to and including the point, your Wills are signed and witnessed to make them legal. You should also consider storing your completed Wills carefully to protect them from fire and theft. And make sure you tell your executors where the Wills can be found.