For many of us, the last few years has gone in a flash; they have however also felt mundane, exhausting and of course worrying as well. We seemingly are coming out of Covid restrictions and can turn start to turn our attention to future plans.
One thing that is clear from these last few years is that life is precious. We now value the small things in life. Those closest to us really are what matters the most. We don’t take things for granted that we used to. The only way to ensure that our nearest and dearest are provided for when we are no longer here is to prepare a Will. This is the case for those of us who are single, married, parents, those without a close family, those to whom friends have become family and those whose charitable causes are likely to be their priorities.
Making a Will with a professional and experienced solicitor, such as me, is the best way to do this. I have specialised in this area of legal work for my whole career and have heard and assisted with many differing family and personal scenarios. There is no ‘one size fits all’ and we all can benefit from tailored legal advice when making plans for the future.
The main matters to consider while instructing a solicitor include:-
- Do you understand the extent of your assets? If you jointly own assets, even if with a spouse, what would happen to those assets if you died?
- Who would look after your children if you die? Is there any financial provision for your children to help them in later life? Who would manage that money for them?
- Who is best place in your life to deal with the administration of your estate? Are your siblings or, if old enough, children the best people to do so? Or would a family friend or trusted professional be better suited?
- Do you have any treasured or sentimental family items you want to ensure pass down through your family?
- Are you on your second marriage and/or do you or your spouse/partner have children from a first marriage? How are you going to divide up the pie at each stage? (First death and then second death?)
- Do you have a business and what arrangements are in place in the event of death? This is especially important if you are in business with other people.
I am often asked by clients ‘what do people normally do?’. My response is that there is no ‘normal’. Only you know the details and history of your family whether it be financial or relationship matters.