Making a Will is very important to your family. This simple legal document can be the difference between your family having to deal with a legal minefield after you die or complete peace of mind regarding your family’s finances.
Once you have made your Will and put all your wishes in the document is it important to take a number of steps to protect it. These are:
1. Tell your family where it is – it is no good making a Will if you don’t tell anyone where to find it. If when you die your will cannot be located then you will be treated as having no Will, which is called intestacy. This means that your wishes are not taken into account and your estate will be divided as the laws of intestacy state. This could mean that people will inherit from your Will that you did not intend.
2. Is it indestructible? – paper documents are susceptible to flooding and fires, and both of these can pose a very real threat to your Will. If you just keep it in a drawer or box at home there is no certainty that by the time you die it will still be there and in a condition that can be executed. If you have your Will drafted by a solicitor, they will usually store your Will for you in a fireproof and waterproof environment so it is completely protected from harm.
3. Keep it current – putting your Will in a drawer once you have made it will not protect it or your family. You should be careful to update it every time a life event changes your circumstances. If you get divorced, you will not want all of your estate to go to your ex-spouse and there is a chance this can happen if you don’t update your Will. Marriages, divorces, new children, stepchildren or even grandchildren could prompt you to make a change.
In summary, keeping your Will safe from harm, up to date and in a place that your family can easily locate it in will make their lives much easier when they are going through a difficult time after losing you.
The information provided in this article is not intended to constitute legal advice and you should take full and comprehensive legal advice on your individual circumstances by a fully qualified Solicitor before you embark on any course of action.
Wills, Trusts and Probate team
0207 183 2898