An author wouldn’t write a book without planning it first. A potential employee wouldn’t turn up to a job interview without doing some research on the company. A pregnant woman wouldn’t wait until her child was born before realising that she doesn’t have a place for the baby to sleep. In all walks of life, a well thought out, researched plan is needed to ensure things are done correctly.
Writing a Will is no different. In most cases, a client comes in to the office with 20 scribbled on pieces of paper listing every family member they’ve ever had, their dates of birth, occupation and address. Some clients are equipped with every bank statement they’ve ever been issued.
At the other end of the scale, some clients are completely under-prepared and often end up arguing with their partner over certain aspects of their Will, such as guardianship or age that their children will inherit money. Fairly often, clients will not return to the office to complete their Wills because they simply cannot agree on which side of the family will look after their children.
One of our clients had carefully planned everything that she wanted in her Will. The Will was prepared and when the Will was read back to her prior to her signing, she started crying. Confusion struck and when asked what had made her emotional, her reply was that after all the monetary gifts she had given away, she would have nothing to live off herself. She soon realised that these gifts would only be gifted upon her death.
Planning your Will is the first step to making one. The questions that are vital that you ask yourself;
1.Who you wish to appoint as Executors and Trustees
2. Who you wish to appoint as Guardian of your children
3. The age which you wish your children to inherit from the Will
Other items such as funeral requests, charitable donations, monetary gifts and jewellery bequests can also be placed within the Will.
Making a Will can be a difficult and somewhat unpleasant thing to do and often clients are emotional talking about their death and the death of their loved ones. However, not making a Will because of a potentially uncomfortable conversation has much more long lasting ramifications. Your money, your property and even the guardianship of your children could end up in the hands of people you do not wish if you do not have a valid Will.
Making a Will is not the end of your financial planning. Ensuring that your family, especially young children, could survive without you if the worst was to happen is as crucially imperative.
For professional advice on making a Will or to discuss the planning process behind it, please contact Graeme Taylor of Gelbergs LLP by email Graeme@gelbergs.co.uk or phone 0207 226 0570.
Published 17 February 2017.