Everyone should have a Will, especially if you have children, own a property or run a business.
The assets that you own at your demise are collectively known as your estate.
If you die without a valid Will, you would have no control over what happens to your estate and who it would go to.
Not Keeping Them Up To Date
Once drawn up, your Will should be regularly reviewed and updated, if necessary. Specifically, where there have been significant changes in your personal circumstances; such as receiving an inheritance or getting married. Thus, ensuring that your Will remains valid and those you wish to inherit do so.
Not Considering The Inheritance Tax Position
Should the value of your estate exceed the Inheritance Tax Threshold, then Inheritance Tax is payable on the excess at 40%. Having a Will professionally drawn up, should ensure that all tax free allowances are considered and where you wish utilised.
Not Appointing Guardians Of Your Children
If you have children, you should appoint guardians in your Will, so that they are looked after by the people you want to look after them. If you have more than one child, failing to appoint a guardian could result in them being raised separately.
Not Being Specific Enough
Any asset that you own which is not subject to a specific gift in your Will, will form part of the residue. It could be that these assets are sold and the cash distributed to your nominees rather than the asset being retained.
Not Making Proper Exclusions
There could be reasons why you may not want someone to benefit from your Estate or you may want an inheritance to be delayed. This is achievable by ensuring that this is clearly documented in your Will.
No Protection For Sideways Dis-Inheritance
Your Will normally becomes invalid on marriage and it is essential that your Will is updated. This will ensure that your estate is distributed in accordance with your wishes rather than under pre-laid down guidelines.
Incorrectly Signed and Witnessed
If your Will is not correctly signed and witnessed, it is invalid. It is therefore extremely important that you ensure the correct procedures are followed at this stage.
Your Will should reflect your wishes and not lead to any doubt of any influence as this could make part or all of the Will invalid. Professional Will Writers will ensure that you are not being influenced when you provide them with your instructions.
Appointing Inappropriate Executors
An executor has to deal with the administration of your Will. They should therefore be good with paperwork and in managing legal issues; but far more importantly, they should be someone you trust.
Please visit our Wills & Testaments page for further information.