Give yourself the gift of peace of mind this Christmas

Together we are Forbes


28 November, 2023

Elizabeth Whitaker
Senior Associate

Admittedly, planning for your ultimate demise is not the most festive of activities, and indeed it won't feel like the top of your priority list amongst the present wrapping, tree decorating and mulled wine quaffing.

The Christmas season is, however, the time of year when we perhaps give greatest consideration to what is most important to us. We spend time with our families, away from the stress and whirlwind of our everyday routines, and the holidays can give us the headspace to consider not only how we can provide for our families for Christmas, but also for the longer term.

Why should I make a Will?

Many people put off making a Will, knowing that it is a sensible step, but delaying it for fear of having to face difficult decisions, or simply because they feel it is a job for another time, or a concern for the "elderly".

Writing a Will doesn't have to be complicated, and with the right advice you can ensure that you can provide properly and appropriately for your loved ones after you have gone. You can use your Will to specify who will be responsible for dealing with your estate after you die, to appoint legal guardians for minor children, to make sure your money goes to the right people in the right proportions or to leave a gift for a special charity that means a lot to you.

Leaving a Will is also the best thing you can do for your family simply from a practical perspective. If you do not have a Will, the law dictates who will be allowed to take responsibility for dealing with your estate after you die, and who is entitled to receive your assets, and in what proportions. This means that neither you nor your family has any control over how your estate is dealt with. This can lead to family disputes and it can be harder and more expensive for your family to deal with your estate after you die. Leaving clear instructions in a Will can take care of this aspect for them, at a time when emotions are running high and decision-making can be difficult. Nothing feels better than knowing you've looked after your loved ones, particularly looking ahead to a time when you are no longer there.

What do I need to decide when making a Will?

The main things to consider are as follows:

Who to appoint as executors - these will be the people who are responsible for dealing with your estate after you have died, either by themselves or with the help of a solicitor.

Who do you want to inherit your estate? You may need to consider gifts of your personal possessions, vulnerable or minor beneficiaries, inheritance tax considerations, or what will happen to your business or properties after you have died.

Do I need to use a solicitor to make a Will?

There is no legal requirement to use a solicitor but it is a good idea to seek advice from a professional who will be able to advise you about the inheritance tax position of your estate and the best way to structure your Will to take into account of the circumstances of your beneficiaries. You can then be sure that your Will is appropriately drafted and legally valid.

For more information on how we can help you prepare a Will please contact Elizabeth Whitaker at Elizabeth Whitaker or 0333 207 1130.

For more information contact Elizabeth Whitaker in our Wills, Probate, Tax & Trusts department via email or phone on 0333 207 1130. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

Learn more about our Wills, Probate, Tax & Trusts department here

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