Before she died, famous Irish author Maeve Binchy claimed she made her first will aged 21, and had updat­ed it more than forty times in her life­time. The best-sell­ing author died in 2012, leav­ing £8.3 mil­lion, it was recent­ly con­firmed. She left two thirds to her hus­band and the rest went to numer­ous friends and groups, includ­ing her local golf club.

You will prob­a­bly not update your will forty times, but any changes you should want to make are straight­for­ward, if this is done with the pro­fes­sion­al help of a Solic­i­tor. Get­ting a Solic­i­tor to write your Will means that if your cir­cum­stances do change over time, or you have a change of heart over some­one or a local char­i­ty, this can be reflect­ed in an updat­ed Will and at lit­tle extra expense. Your Solic­i­tor can also retain your orig­i­nal Will for safe­keep­ing and can make the changes with­out delay.

Not a lot of 21-year-olds will be as organ­ised as Maeve Binchy, or have the assets, to think about mak­ing a Will, but it’s hard to over­state the impor­tance of mak­ing a Will in the first place and of get­ting pro­fes­sion­al advice from a Solic­i­tor when you do so. There’s noth­ing to stop you writ­ing your own Will, but it is easy to inad­ver­tent­ly over­look some­thing which could have dis­as­trous con­se­quences for the very peo­ple you want to be looked after when you are no longer here.

An inno­cent but all-too-com­mon mis­take in this instance is to have your Spouse as one of two wit­ness­es required. This doesn’t make the will invalid but it will pre­vent your Spouse from inher­it­ing any­thing. Solic­i­tors will also include impor­tant claus­es which will assist in the Pro­bate of your Estate.

Some peo­ple think they don’t need to leave a Will at all because their sur­viv­ing Spouse will auto­mat­i­cal­ly inher­it their Estate, but this is not the case. In cer­tain cir­cum­stances, the sur­viv­ing Spouse could only receive a lim­it­ed amount, while a sur­viv­ing but unmar­ried part­ner could be left with noth­ing what­so­ev­er. Get­ting pro­fes­sion­al help from a Solic­i­tor will ensure you avoid any sim­i­lar pit­falls in pro­vid­ing for your loved ones. Your Solic­i­tor can also advise you about pos­si­ble sav­ings you can make which will ben­e­fit your ben­e­fi­cia­ries, such as how you can legal­ly avoid Inher­i­tance Tax.

To arrange a dis­cus­sion about Wills, please get in touch with Paul Clark on 01625 523988 or mail@​JBGass.​com