Making a Will: 7 Big Questions

  1. When should I make a Will?

Making a Will isn’t linked to your age. Instead, the timing of your Will is often influenced by your circumstances. We all have a time in our lives when it is sensible to make a Will – such as:

  • when you buy your first property
  • when you have your first child
  • when you get married
  • when you start living with a long-term partner

You are never too young to have peace of mind that you are protecting the ones you love by making a Will.

  1. What happens if I die without leaving a Will?

Would your estate go to the government?  No. This would only happen IF no family members could be located.

If you have family your estate would go to the closest members first, so…

  • your spouse,
  • if there is no spouse – your children/grandchildren,
  • if there are no children/grandchildren – your parents,
  • if your parents have died already – your siblings,
  • if there are no siblings – your nieces/nephews,
  • where there are none of those your half-brothers and/or sisters then their children

The possibilities go on, encompassing grandparents, your aunts and/or uncles, your cousins and finally your cousins’ children.  Only if you have NO living relatives does your estate go to the Crown.

BUT is this what you would want? A Will is the only way to make sure everything you have when you die goes where you would like it to go.  That could be close friends or charities rather than those distant relatives who you never see.

  1. What happens if I marry?

The only thing that cancels or ‘revokes’ a Will is marriage. If you get married after you have made a Will, it will no longer be valid. The way round this, if you think you may marry a long term partner, is to make your Will ‘in contemplation of marriage’. This means that throughout your Will you would refer to your fiancé/fiancée as your intended husband/wife.  This ensures that you will still have a valid Will after you get married.

  1. How long do Wills last for?

Wills are meant to be future-proof so you shouldn’t need to amend them regularly; if a Will Writer knows what they are doing they will try to ensure that you don’t need to update your Will every time you have a child or when a new grandchild is born.

  1. What happens if I am separated from my spouse?

If you are separated but not divorced and you die without a Will, your estranged spouse could inherit everything.  Probably not what you would want! Make a Will to stop that happening.

  1. What happens if I am divorced?

If you are divorced, and you made a Will whilst you were still married, your Will would be read as if your ex-spouse had died before you. Therefore, they would not receive anything they were due to receive in your Will.

  1. I have children – do I need a Will?

Making a Will is vital if you have children, as you need to make sure your wishes are known regarding who you would want to look after them if something happened to you.

If you have any other queries about making a Will – or would like to discuss the above details further, contact A.R.K. Lasting Powers & Wills. A free initial meeting without obligation – or jargon – can offer you expert information and reassurance about Wills.

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