The Big Things to Consider When Drafting a Will and Estate Planning

11th November 2021 Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning

We are currently living through one of the hardest times in recent history, due to the pandemic, and continue to see the death toll of coronavirus climb. Consequently, people have been forced to face their own mortality. This has prompted people to start thinking about drafting a Will or even updating an existing Will. As a result, the number of people that have requested help with drafting a Will over the past few years has increased dramatically. In the past, drafting a Will was usually at the bottom of people’s priority lists; however, people are now realising the importance of having certain things in place to make sure everybody is looked after when they are gone.

There are a few things to look out for when drafting your Will; this is usually tied in with major changes or developments in your life. A good example of this would be when you get married. Once you get married, if you had a previous Will in place, it would be automatically revoked and you will be required to put a new Will in place. Furthermore, you could have children - another example of a major change to your life - which does not just change the situation and state of your own Will but also that of other people, like grandparents, as they may wish to accommodate the new grandchild into their will.

During the pandemic, a lot of people have sadly passed away and this has led to them leaving inheritance to relatives and friends, which will change their own estates and their own financial position. At that point, you want to sit down and review your own situation, have a look at how your Will can be improved, or look to get one in place if you do not have one already. Another reason that may make you change a Will or consider making one includes planning for possible future eventualities - for example, if you were to get divorced or separate from your partner, you may wish to ensure your assets do pass only to those who you wish to benefit from your estate.

Below I have listed a multitude of reasons to what a Will could help you deal with:

  • You can appoint executors and trustees who you wish to administer your estate.
  • You can appoint guardians for any children under the age of 18, thereby ensuring that costly court proceedings and potential family disputes are avoided.
  • You can ensure that your loved ones are provided for financially.
  • You can set up life interest trusts to ensure that your spouse/partner has the right to remain living in the family home.
  • You can set up a protective trust to ensure that beneficiaries do not lose their right to receive means-tested state benefits.
  • You can ring-fence assets for the benefit of your surviving spouse/partner against the liability of care fees.
  • You can include tax planning tools to reduce your inheritance tax liability and consequently allow your beneficiaries to inherit more from your estate.

At JMW, we offer a free consultation where we will talk to the client about their family, their financial circumstances, and understand what they want to achieve and, ultimately, whom they wish to protect and have benefit from their estate. After our consultation, we will provide a complete list of options available on their Will and Estate Planning requirements, allowing the client the time to discuss with their loved ones before returning to us with their desired way forward.

JMW want to make putting a Will in place a straightforward and painless process, and it could prove to be one of the most important things you set up throughout your life. For help and advice on making a Will or for more information about the process, contact the team at JMW today. We will be happy to discuss your requirements during an initial consultation, so call us free on 0345 872 6666.

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Alex Streeter is a Solicitor located in Manchesterin our Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning department

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