Clare Wicke a solicitor in the Personal Law team at Yorkshire law firm LCF Law has a timely reminder to those still delaying making a Will.
The coronavirus outbreak has prompted people to review their personal affairs. However, it is estimated that around 60% of adults still don’t have a Will.
The majority of people understand they ought to have a Will, but often they don’t for a number of reasons. People assume that their wishes will be carried out by default after they die, but this is unfortunately not the case.
A Will clearly sets out who will benefit from financial and personal assets after death. It also names the designated person that will sort out the estate and carry out wishes after death. Finally, a Will outlines what happens if the people intended to benefit from a legacy, die before the person making the Will.
As it’s a legal document it must be signed and witnessed by two people aged over 18 who aren’t related to the person making the Will or their beneficiaries, who can watch the document be signed.
Having made a Will, it is good practice to review its contents, say, every five years. Wills do get out of date. People may have acquired another property or had more children or indeed have separated. A Will is technically valid even if a person separates from a spouse. It is a common misconception that people who cohabit would be entitled to their partner’s assets if their partner died without a Will. That is not the case although any jointly owned assets, would normally be inherited by the surviving partner.
Making a Will is the best way of protecting family members and loved ones. Making a Will can be done online, but the majority of people need legal guidance and reassurance of what they are doing. Anyone with more complex financial legacies, multiple properties and overseas assets, along with people who have more complicated personal situations, like larger families, children with different partners, those who live together and are not married, or civil partners need that extra clarity and it is always best to seek legal advice.
For further information Clare is available to clients and prospective clients in person by appointment at 2 Wells Walk Ilkley or at The Exchange Station Parade Harrogate HG1 1TS. You can contact Clare on 01943 60120 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.lcf.co.uk