Writing a will is a bit of a morbid topic. But nowadays, if you are moving towards your golden years, it’s something that you should be considering. We have recently managed to get through the first wave of the pandemic. But as winter comes, you will want to keep yourself and your family as safe as possible. That’s why the wisest thing you can do is start planning your will. No one likes thinking about death. However, it’s essential if you want to protect your family and friends if the worst comes to the worst.
Watching for BBC updates about the second wave can leave you feeling nervous about the future. However, creating a legalised will can give you some peace of mind. That way you can feel good knowing your property can be taken care of, even after you are no longer here. Gowing Law can help you through our will-writing services. Check out our services through the button below:
Why should I consider writing a will?
Honestly, whilst it can feel a little morbid to discuss wills and who you want to pass your property on to, it is one of the most sensible things you can do during a pandemic. If you do not have a will in place, it is very likely that it will be passed onto the court system. They will decide who gets what property. So, if there is someone you don’t want to include your will, they may inadvertently get access to your property. Having a will in place will give you more control over your own property and assets. You can decide who gets what and can also inform the people in your will about any additional conditions that come with the property.
Have a look at the infographic below to get a better idea of how a will can help you understand how you can look after your family in the future:
Lockdown will writing can be quite scary, but the second wave of the pandemic has not fully hit yet. That’s why you should consider getting one as soon as possible. Whilst you will still need to take strict social-distancing measure whilst sorting your will (including wearing a mask and finding an outdoor area to have your witnesses sign the will), it will be easier than when your local area becomes part of a regional lockdown.
A Quick Reminder: Safety & Covid-19
Before we jump into will-writing a little further, we just want to make a little note about safety during the pandemic. Whether you are trying to get a remote trial date about a hit and run accident, or you are trying to stay away from crowded areas, keep your family safe through social distancing and wearing a mask in interior and exterior environments when you are around people. You should also download the NHS app to ensure you know when you need to self-isolate.
Here at Gowing Law we have already taken precautions in order to make sure that all of our services reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19. Not only do our staff now work remotely, but we are fully prepared to offer our services, including our Will-writing services, through electronic calls, emails and even the post if need be! We can also help prepare you for remote trial if your case does go to court.
Keep smart and safe. That way you can protect yourself and your family during this difficult time.
What should I consider first when I am writing a will?
One of the main things that you need to consider to start with is who your executor is going to be. The executor will be the person who carries out the wishes of your will. That’s why you should pick someone who is close to you and would be willing to handle the finer details of your requests. For instance, they will need to understand any debt you have or the financial details behind investment opportunities you want to pass on to your benefactors.
Once you have decided on an executor of your will, you need to think about what’s going to go in the will in general. Here are some additional things that you should consider including in your will:
- Any property you own.
- Funeral wishes (i.e. what type of funeral you want, where you want to be buried, etc.)
- Legal guardians who will take care of your children under the age of 18.
- Your money and assets (Including stocks, shares, bonds and pensions)
- Estate Beneficiaries
- Your mortgage
- Any debt or inheritance tax that may be included in the will
These are only a few examples of what you could be included in your will. Just think carefully about what you own and what you would like to be passed on. That’s the best way of figuring out how to sort out who gets what.
Who can I leave my property to within my UK will?
The best thing about having a will is that it is completely personal to you and your needs! That means you decide where your money goes and who it goes to. Most people make the mistake where they think that their property can only go to actual people, i.e. their family. In reality, you can let your money, assets, property and estates to anyone or anything that you want. Take a look below to get an idea who you may want to put down as a beneficiary in your will:
Think carefully about who you want to leave your assets to. You can change this at any time. But keep in mind that you will need to validate the will again if you do make any changes.
How do I validate a will during the pandemic?
There are three main ways that you can tell if you have a valid will that can make you feel comforted during this pandemic:
- Your will must be signed by you and written in writing. This will have been witnessed by two people.
- Your will must been made voluntarily without any sort of pressure from other people.
- You must understand the effect the will is going to have on the people around you. This means you need to have the mental capacity in order to make the will itself.
Now, you may be asking yourself how you can validate a will during a pandemic. You need to adhere to social distancing and the witnesses cannot be people listed within the will. Well, don’t worry. There are ways that you can socially distance whilst validating a will. This includes signing the will outdoors. You can bring your own pens and move way appropriately when it comes to signing the will. There are people using car hoods and even watching from side-fences in the will creator’s back garden.
Just remember, if you are signing a will then you will need to be in the same place where it is signed. It is not signed properly then the will could be invalidated.
How can a solicitor help me with my will?
It’s always wise having legal counsel when you decide to write a will. UK residents may not have the experience needed in order to understand the finer details of constructing a will that is valid in the eyes of the law. A solicitor can help you avoid any mistakes that could invalidate your will. Instead, they can work with you (remotely) to ensure that all of the fine details are sorted before your witnesses are called to help you with the will. The power of drafts can make you feel more comfortable. Your lawyer will always provide you with drafts of your will so it can be fine-tuned to perfection.
The lesson is, don’t set about constructing a will on your own. Always get the help of a professional lawyer.
What should I expect when I start writing a will?
Honestly, you should expect a lot of different drafts! If you decide to work with a trained UK solicitor, you will start by getting your information together. This includes who you want to put in your will and what assets need to be included. You will then need to sort through this information and decide on a structure for your will. Your lawyer will go away and start writing up the first draft. From here, it will be a simple process of looking at drafts, approving them or asking for changes. Eventually, you will get the final product that will need to be validated by you and your witnesses. Voila, you will have a will that you will be able to keep changing in the future.
Can I really write a will remotely?
Yes you can! The pandemic has turned the world upside down. Not only has it affected how we work and deal with work accidents, but it has also impacted how we socialise with other people. Therefore, it’s only natural that you may feel a little nervous about meeting someone out in public that you have never met before.
This is why it’s a lot easier being able to handle writing a will remotely. Will-writing can be tricky and you need all of the support that you can get. Therefore, having a Gowing Law Solicitor on your side can help you out. Writing a will remotely may include:
- Having electronic phone calls/ video calls to discuss your will
- Drafts of your will being sent over e-mail or through the post
- Advising you on cautionary measures with your witnesses
Recommendations about small details (i.e. using your own pens, using PPI to sign the will).
You will always be supported when you decide to write a will with Gowing Law Solicitors! We are here to help.
How much will it cost to make a will with Gowing Law?
There are two types of wills that you can choose to create with Gowing Law. One is a single will at £70. This will focus on your own property and assets. However, if you and your partner wish to create a will together, this is known as a “Joint Will”. We offer joint wills at £95. Have a chat with your significant other about what sort of will you want. Our solicitors would be more than happy to help you with either of these wills. We will listen to all of your questions and make sure to support you throughout your will-writing journey.
Write your will with Gowing Law!
We understand that talking about your will can be one of the most difficult conversations of your life. But Gowing Law will be here to support you through it. We can offer you free advice and consultations to get you started. If you are happy to work with us, we will then guide you through the will-writing process. We will always keep your safety in mind during this pandemic.
Read more about will-writing on our blog
Remember, Gowing Law keeps its blog updated every week with fresh content! This includes more information on writing a will, as well as financial mis-selling and public accident claims cases. Make sure to scroll through our list of blogs to find a topic that interests you. If you cannot find what you want, don’t be afraid to write into us. We would be more than happy to write about your suggestions topics. Send in your requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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See you in our next blog!