After sorting through emails, tidying out drawers and purchasing a gym membership to kick-start 2019, now could be the time to look at organising a will.
It may not be the most glamorous task, and is one that many people purposely avoid, but getting a properly drafted will give you real peace of mind
Rather than that nagging thought lingering in the back of your mind that you are going to have to address this one day, sit down and get it done - safe in the knowledge that your efforts will help the ones you love.
For instance if you own a house (or other significant assets) you may be affected by inheritance tax so making a will gives you the perfect opportunity to plan ahead and mitigate the effects of tax on what you will be able pass on to your family and friends. Similarly, a will makes it clear who is to receive what thus reducing your family’s anxiety at an incredibly stressful time. One unintended consequence of dying without a will could be a major falling out among your family as they attempt to second guess your wishes.
One thing that is crucial to consider when you decide to start thinking about a will is how much getting it wrong could affect you later on.
There is no shortage of people who will take your money, tell you what you want to hear and put a will together for you.
However, if that will turns out not to be fit for purpose, where will you turn for help?
A large number of will-writers are able to offer their services for a low fee because they are not legally qualified and are not able to see through their plans if either your personal circumstances or the law changes.
People may not be aware that the will-writing and estate planning industry is not regulated, whereas solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, so we are held to a higher standard.
With that in mind, I would always encourage those thinking of making a will or looking at estate planning to use insured, regulated and qualified professionals.
Wright Hassall has a team of specialist private wealth lawyers with many years’ experience of advising clients on wills and estate planning.
Even if you already have a will that you feel are happy with, it may be worth checking in to see that it is still up to date as the things which may affect your will aren’t always obvious.