Why?… Because November is Will Aid Month and, in exchange for a donation to the Will Aid charities, we at Gebbie and Wilson will write your Will for free!
But isn’t it complicated and time-consuming?
No, it doesn’t have to be. Indeed there are only two essential elements to your Will – appointment of your Executors and naming your beneficiaries.
Executors? – Who are they and what do they do?
Your Executor is the person you appoint to carry out your wishes, as contained in your Will.
Your Executor can be your spouse or partner, another relative or friend or a trusted professional adviser. You can appoint more than one Executor if you wish; but if you go with just one, we recommend that you also name a substitute in order to provide for the possibility that, in the event, your first choice is unable to take up the appointment. There is nothing to prevent your Executor from also being a beneficiary under your Will.
In practice, it will often be a Solicitor who handles all the paperwork in winding up an estate and the Executors tend to oversee the Solicitor’s work rather than actually doing it themselves.
And beneficiaries … who should they be?
You can leave your assets to only one person – or you can divide them among as many people as you wish. It is also open to you to benefit charities or other organisations. You can list items followed by a catch-all provision to cover anything not listed – or you can simply refer to proportions or percentages of the value of your assets generally.
For each beneficiary you name, we will ask you to nominate a substitute so as to future-proof your Will. An example might be leaving everything to your spouse or partner or, in the event of him or her having died before you, to your children.
But why bother making a Will at all?
By making a Will, you spell out exactly who you want to benefit from your estate following your death and exactly what you want to leave to them. If you don’t make a Will, the Law of Intestacy will dictate what happens – which will often be very different from what you would choose to do.
Additionally, by making your Will, you avoid delays and additional unnecessary expense which winding up an estate under the Law of Intestacy would entail.
So how do I go about making my Will?
Think about who you would like to be your Executors. Make a list of your main financial assets and a rough estimate of their value – and think about who you would like to be your beneficiaries. Then simply make an appointment to see one of our Private Client Solicitors to start the ball rolling. Typically, you will have two meetings with your Solicitor. The first meeting will be to let you discuss your wishes with your Solicitor and to give you the opportunity to ask questions on anything you are unsure of. Following this, your Solicitor will send you a draft Will for you to consider. You would then arrange a second meeting with your Solicitor to finalise the terms of your Will and for you to sign it.
And remember …
November is Will Aid month – so there has never been a better time!
To find out more about Will Aid, visit www.willaid.org.uk.