Making a Will should be top of the ‘To Do’ list, not the bottom.
Making a Will is something most of us don't see as a priority. It's so easy to keep putting getting your affairs in order off, or to the bottom of an ever growing list of commitments to family, work, social life, domestic chores, and even DIY. It will always be easier to see the need to put together some new flat pack furniture or paint the garden fence, over the need for a Will but completing a Will really should be a priority, as the impact of not having a Will, or having a poorly prepared one, can cause unnecessary heartache and expense.
Even if your wishes are really simple, like giving everything to your spouse or partner, a Will can still be so important. Without it, even dealing with a really 'simple' Estate may end up with a Grant of Representation having to be obtained to deal with relatively small assets, and may also cause family uncertainty and conflict.
The first and most important part of any will is the Executor appointment. The Executor is charged with dealing with the assets in the Estate and ensuring your wishes are carried out. Crucially, an Executor's authority comes from the Will and is effective immediately at the date of death. This means they have authority to organise the funeral, make decisions about the resting place of the deceased and even close bank accounts and sell some assets.
Counter this with the position if you died without a Will. No one has any authority to deal with such matters until the Court grants authority. Who then organises the funeral, notifies the bank, signs forms, or incurs Estate expenses?
The law dictates who has the right to apply and this may not be the best option for your family or situation. Imagine a family with a number adult children who don't get on; each child would have the right to apply, but the chances of conflict are going to be much higher. This is unlikely to result in the children dealing efficiently and properly with the estate.
By putting in place even a simple Will which provides for with a valid Executor appointment, you provide your love ones with guidance and clear direction as to who you chose to sort out your Estate, and how.
There are plenty of other important reasons to get your Will sorted today, such as protection of assets, inheritance tax planning, Care Fee planning and protecting cohabitees' interests and guardianship of children. Simply giving someone the authority to actually deal with the Estate from the date of your death, has got to be up there as one of, if not, the, most important reason.
Contact Rollits' Private Capital Team to make an appointment or arrange a discussion today, to see how we can help give you peace of mind that your simplest wishes will be carried out following your death. We have offices based in both York and Hull, and are able to offer home visits or video call appointments.
Alternatively, Rollits have once again kindly allowed me to donate my time during 'Make a Will Fortnight' to support our own local heros at Dove House Hospice. So if you finally have the opportunity to put making a Will at the top of your To Do list, you can also potentially help Dove House by donating to them the cost of the Will. Contact Dove House directly for more information on Make a Will Fortnight.
This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.