The importance of a will cannot be understated. It allows your wishes to be granted when you pass away, so your loved ones can receive what you wanted them to have.
A will is a legal document in which a person formalises their wishes to distribute their property after their death, as well as any special requests. This can be physical items or money, and can include things like instructions for funeral plans and naming guardians for any children under 18.
It’s easy to see why many people want to write a will, and more importantly, do so correctly. After all, this document will shape the futures of your loved ones, so making any errors could lead to unnecessary complications.
With this in mind, let’s discuss some common errors that people often make when composing their wills.
Not writing a will at all
It’s an unfortunate fact that many people die without a will (intestate). This leaves their assets in the hands of government authorities, so they’re distributed as ‘fairly’ as possible under certain legal rules. Of course, what may be deemed fair in the eyes of the law might not be what the deceased wanted. However, there is no truly fair way of fulfilling a person’s wishes after their death unless a will has been written.
So, if you’re looking to protect your estate in the long term but are still on the fence about writing a will, we highly recommend you do so. Our will writing service in St Helens ensures you get every aspect of this important document correct, offering the peace of mind you deserve.
We understand that it can be quite the challenge trying to remember everything you own, which is why we recommend giving yourself plenty of time to write your will. If any aspect of your estate isn’t included, then it may not be distributed to your preferred beneficiary.
Of course, many people remember the obvious physical assets such as their house and car, but often a bank account, shares, or premium bonds are forgotten. Be sure to carefully think about all that you own when writing your will, and who you’d want it to go to.
An out-of-date will
You may have already completed a will in the past, but has anything significant in your life happened since then? Have you had a child or grandchild, gotten married or divorced, lost a loved one, or bought a house? All of these events could affect your existing will, so it’s important to take a look semi-regularly and update the document accordingly.
Do you want your young children missing out because you didn’t go back and update your will? We didn’t think so. This is a real possibility unless you add them to your amended document.
Incorrect or invalid witnesses
A legally valid will must be signed in the presence of two witnesses. This is to confirm the validity of the document and the identity of the signee so that it can be formally recognised by law. To qualify as a valid witness, you have to be:
- A UK citizen aged 18 or over
- Not named as a beneficiary in the will or married to someone who is (to avoid a conflict of interest)
If one or both of the witnesses doesn’t meet these criteria when the will is signed, it will be deemed as void, and therefore won’t be upheld by the law.
Not hiring a professional for help
You may think that you’re able to write a will at home without any legal advice. Sure, anyone can sit down and write a document. However, without the help of a professional, much like the team at St Helens Law, you may be guilty of an oversight. We will use all of our industry expertise to ensure you draft and complete a thorough and legally compliant will that you’re entirely happy with.
Speak to us for more information
Do you want more advice on will writing in St Helens? We’re the people to speak to. Fill out our online enquiry form for a FREE 30 minute consultation, or give us a call on 01744 742360 to speak to us directly. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.