Will Writing

wills-vyGKww.jpgMaking a Will is something people only whisper about, its doom and gloomy and causes premature death.  It’s about what happens after you die and nobody wants to think about that.  We all know that after-death experiences include embarrassed silences and soggy triangle sandwiches.  Not fun at all.

But actually, choosing presents for your family is fun!  (Think Christmas without cutthroat shopping in overcrowded shops!)  And giving to charity creates a warm fuzzy glow inside.

Your Estate is the sum total of your possessions.  Don’t bother calculating how much this is since it will change daily.  You can divide everything on a percentage basis and let the lawyers do the maths.

You can leave fixed amounts and stipulate conditions about what they are to be spent on.  You might find it very satisfying to stipulate that your gift to a nephew must be spent on travel or study because both expand the mind.  Whether his mind actually needs expanding can remain ambiguous.

If you have a will, you are able to make sure that your possessions go to the people who are most likely to appreciate them.  Not everyone will receive your complete collection of Star Trek DVDs with the gratitude and respect they merit. 

It is a nice gesture to return a special gift like a piece of jewellery to the person that gave it to you. 

If you haven’t made a Will, your estate will be handed out according to intestacy rules.  If you think those rules look fine and you don’t need to bother with a will, reconsider.  Years from now when you run off with a football player, or have a child, or get married, or divorced, or whatever...  no will means no choice.  If you’ve got a will, you’re more likely to review it than if you’ve just taken a look at the intestacy rules and thought 'that'll do”.

Aside from the fact that your beloved collection of porcelain teapots may end up with some beast of a cousin who doesn’t appreciate them, consider:

1. It takes much longer to deal with an intestacy than a will.

2. A common-law husband or wife is not recognised because there is no such relationship in law.  You have a stronger legal relationship with your lodger than your partner.  And separation is not treated in the same way as divorce.  So the spouse you separated from years ago could inherit the house that you share with your partner.  But the tenant may still have rights to live there.

3. The people that apply intestacy rules are robots and don’t deviate EVER.  If you have a long-lost cousin somewhere in Timbuctoo, who inherits under the rules, that person must be found.  If they died but had children, they will all have to be found. And so on.  It can take years.  For someone you would never have included in your will.

Getting Your Will Written and Checked


This is a three step process:

1. Step One - Think about what you want to do for the people and the causes you care about.

2. Step Two - Write it down in your own words as simply as possible.

3. Step Three – Give it to me for my input.

Step three is important.  If you try writing the will yourself you can easily avoid the pitfalls you know about.  But there are likely to be a lot of pitfalls you don’t know about.  Plus I might know ways of avoiding inheritance tax that you hadn’t considered.  

The letter to me is not a will.  There are a multitude of rules about signatures, witnesses and who will carry out your wishes.  I will write your will for you including all the herinafters and heretofores.  I’m not just paid to avoid pitfalls and reduce inheritance tax, but to know all the long words too. 

The best bit for you is having the fun and warm fuzzy glow of generosity. The best bit for your loved ones is that it is substantially easier and cheaper to sort it all out.  

Of course, if you don't make a will, it won’t be you that lives to regret it.

Download our leaflet here