As morbid as it is, making a Will is important, whether you have children and a spouse or not, as it dictates who is entitled to your estate when you pass away. It is particularly important for Forces families, given the nature of the job. The MOD offer a free basic Will service, the MOD106 Will, to its serving members prior to deployment, however it is just as important for their spouses too. There are also many limitations on this service that you should be aware of, which you can read about on our previous blog; ‘Wills for Military Personnel’.
So, what is a Will?
A Will is simply a record of the choices you have made about what happens to your money, property, possessions and children in the event of your death. With the right advice, it can also help to reduce Inheritance Tax. The best reason for making a Will is to make it a little easier and less stressful for your loved ones left behind.
But surely most people have made a Will?
In fact, only 53% of us in the UK have a valid Will , and a proportion of these people have done so without the use of a legal professional, also known as a ‘DIY Will’.
So why should I use a legal professional?
If you have a small, uncomplicated family with little assets to divide, and you have followed the Will writing instructions to the letter you may not have a problem and get a cheap and effective will after all. But how many of us can really say that we fall into the above category? If your family is more complicated, you have a lot of assets (property, savings, family heirlooms, etc.), dependents that need caring for or you have very specific wishes, then you will leave your loved ones in a difficult situation if you don’t get legal advice first.
Ok, so I want to make a Will, but what do I put in it?
* Who will be your “beneficiaries” (the people you want to benefit from your Will);
* Who will be the “guardians” to your children (if they are under 18);
* Who should be your “executor” (they manage your estate and carry out your wishes);
* What will happen if your beneficiaries have died before you.
What do I do with the Will once I’ve made it?
Tell your executor that you have appointed them and where your Will is stored. This is usually at home (which is not advisable), or with a solicitor or bank. Evolution Forces Families store your Will for FREE in secure, lifetime storage.
What if I change my mind?
You can’t amend your Will after it’s been signed and witnessed. If you need to change its contents, you can write a new one. It is advised to review your Will every 5 years, or after a major change in your life such as:
* Getting separated, married or divorced;
* Having a child;
* Moving house;
* The executor named in your Will dies.
Do I need to tell my family the content of my Will?
Not the specifics, but when you start thinking about the content of your Will, it’s worth writing out what you wish to do and then talking to your family about your wishes so that they are aware and prepared for what your intentions are. This is especially important for the issue of appointing guardians for your children. Having discussions about your estate and who you intend to leave it to will also allow you to resolve any objections between family members before you get your Will drawn up.
Ok, I am ready to make my Will, but what now?
You can start the process for writing your Will now! Contact us now to book in your 10-minute FREE phone consultation on 0330 3322 614. Evolution Forces Families have an exclusive offer* at the moment, for every Will we write, we will give you a £15 Amazon voucher, so if you’re a couple getting a mirrored will, we will give you a £30 Amazon voucher.
*This offer applies for any instruction taken before 31st of December 2016, and cannot be taken in conjunction with any other promotion or offer.
 Co-operative Legal Services Research