We know that the thought of writing a will can be pretty daunting – it’s no wonder so many of us put it off. Aside from the fact that you’ll need to imagine a time when you’re not here, making a will also involves talking to a lawyer or will writer. Are we going to use legal language that you don’t understand? Will we ask you loads of difficult questions?
There are a few key things that we need to know to give you the best advice we can and make sure your will includes everything it needs to. Before we meet, in person or via Zoom, we’ll send you a client information form to complete. It covers a lot of the basics and gives you the chance to gather any documents and think about the questions. We’ll go through it all when we speak to you too. Read on for a run down on the things we cover and why we need to know.
You might think that when you make a will you’ll only need to give us details of the people you want to inherit, but it’s important that we collect information about everyone in your immediate family including parents, siblings and any stepchildren. If there are any family conflicts that mean you’re leaving someone out of your will, we need to know about that too. Someone who feels they’ve been unfairly left out of your will can challenge it. While we can’t stop this happening, we can include a letter of wishes to explain why you made that decision.
It can also help you to think about your family to make sure you haven’t missed anyone by accident, and to help you to create plan B. A plan B is important in case the first person nominated to inherit your estate (your beneficiary) isn’t able to for any reason.
Clients often ask us why we need to know about all their assets. One of the main reasons is to check that you know what you own! If a client doesn’t have a rough idea, it can be a sign that they can’t make a will because they aren’t able to handle their own affairs. It also helps us to make sure that you’re making decisions about your will without being pressured or influenced by anyone else.
The other big reason is tax planning. There are various inheritance tax allowances that you can claim if you fit the criteria. Sometimes you might need to include a trust in your will, which could exclude your estate from claiming particular inheritance tax allowances. It’s important that we have a full picture to make sure you understand the implications of setting up your will in a particular way.
Other important stuff
There are a whole host of things that we could include in your will, depending on your circumstances. If you own a business, we need to check how it’s constructed to make sure there are no conflicts between your will and your business documents.
We’ll also ask for details about your beneficiaries. If any of them are in receipt of state benefits or have a care plan in place, an inheritance could potentially affect these. It may even leave them worse off than they were before and we want to make sure this doesn’t happen.
If you own any property overseas, we’ll need to make sure that we don’t affect any will you may have in place elsewhere in the world and avoid any conflict.
These are just a few of the things we’ll talk about when we meet. Are you ready to have a chat and make your will? Get in touch using the form below or call us on 0116 380 0752.
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