There is no doubt that the global coronavirus pandemic and its indiscriminate nature has been a stark reminder about how precious life is.
It has led many people to focus on their estate planning “just in case”. Rachel Wood, a Senior Associate solicitor in the Private Client team at FBC Manby Bowdler in Bridgnorth, explains the one easy step you can take to make life easier for your loved ones after your death:
For many people, making a will is one of those things filed in the ‘must-do’ pile that never quite gets sorted. But if there is one simple thing you could do to help your family and friends when you’re gone, it would be to make a will.
Dying without a will – intestate – is an additional problem that friends and family would have to deal with at a time when they are already grieving. It’s no surprise that arguments about who gets what are common between families if you haven’t set out your wishes in a will.
And with the increasing number of second and subsequent marriages, blended families and higher house prices it means more people than ever need a will. If you die without one, there is no guarantee that the people you love will receive the property, money or gifts you want them to.
A will doesn’t have to be complicated and, by getting one drafted by a solicitor, it means that your wishes will be clearly documented. Solicitors have to keep notes about your discussions so they can evidence the reasons behind your choices.
It is, of course, important to update your will if any of the beneficiaries die, you get divorced or you change your mind. And when appointing executors – the people who administer your estate - you should be confident that they would carry out your wishes to the letter. If you’re concerned that this may cause a family feud, consider appointing a solicitor as an executor.
With more than 20 years experience in the legal sector in the West Midlands and Shropshire, Rachel deals with all aspects of estate administration including obtaining grants of probate and letters of administration, the preparation of wills and lasting powers of attorney and applying for deputyship orders.
For help and advice on these issues Rachel Wood will be able to help.