Why make a will?
Naomi Pinder, from Catherine Higgins Law, explains the importance of making a will and taking part in Woodlands' Charity Will Month this April:
Reasons to make your Will during Woodlands' Charity Will Month
Most of us know that it is very important to make a will so that our loved ones are protected and our wishes are carried out after we have died, yet it can be very difficult to actually take positive action and make the all-important will. The result is that most of us die without having made legal arrangements to decide our funeral arrangements, who deals with finances, who looks after our minor children and who actually benefits from our estate. The result can be chaotic and distressing for those we leave to grieve.
Let’s be positive, April is the start of spring, the yellow, white and blue spring flowers bring cheer and we will hopefully enjoy some sunshine after the long dark days of winter. It is a time of new beginnings.
Part of the spring calendar is the Woodlands Charity Will Month. It’s brilliant because you can make your will with a solicitor or will writer and you don’t pay the usual charge - instead you can make a donation to Woodlands Hospice. The level of the donation is up to you - the suggested donation is £95 for a single will and £150 for mirror wills.
I deal with a significant number estates after a person has died without a valid will and their next of kin are their children who are very sadly aged under 18. From an emotional point of view this is devastating and from a legal point of view it is very uncertain, complex and can be costly to resolve.
The difficulties are increasingly common because more and more couples live together without any legal framework and protection afforded by marriage or civil partnership. Always remember that there is no such thing as a common law marriage and the cohabiting partner does not have the protection provided to a lawful spouse or civil partner.
In your will, you can appoint guardians who would have physical care of your minor orphaned children and this will protect your children and avoid them being taken into Local Authority care. You can also appoint trustees who will look after the money for your children until they come of age – 18 or 21 as you decide.
You can include gifts of items such as jewellery and gifts of money. You can include gifts to charity and leave whatever is left to a person or shared between a number of people.
The important step to take is to start the ball rolling and what better way to do it than using the Woodlands Charity Will Month this April. Once your will has been written in accordance with your wishes and then executed, you will have the peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be followed and your loved ones protected.
Solicitor at Catherine Higgins Law in Woolton, Liverpool.