Why do I need a will?
Your will lets you decide what happens to your money, property and possessions after your death, by assigning beneficiaries and guardians so that your money goes where you want and your children are looked after.
Can I write a will myself?
Yes you can, but we strongly recommend taking advice before you do, as simple mistakes could prove costly in the long run since your will could be challenged or disregarded altogether. A badly made will could also land your relatives with legal fees running into thousands of pounds – dwarfing the cheap fees charged by IFA’s/Solicitors to draw up the will correctly.
What happens if I do not have a will?
It is a common misconception that if you die intestate – in other words without making any will – then your closest relatives will decide how assets are split. This is not the case. There are rigid rules as to who inherits when you die without a will, and in some cases this will simply mean the Crown receives everything.
Likewise many unmarried couples, who have cohabited for years, may assume there is no need for a will as they are common law husband and wife. No such terms exist in estate law – and a partner can be disinherited by children, siblings, or even an uncle and aunt unless you have made adequate provision for them in a will.
If you don't have a spouse then your estate will be shared between your children. If there is no spouse and no children then the estate will go to the parents first, then any siblings, then grandparents, then uncles and aunts. If none of these relatives survive you and you haven't made a will, you entire estate will go to the Crown.
How can you help?
We at Niche have a lot of experience in writing Last Will and Testaments. If a client requires a new will to be written, we can usually take the instructions at the same time as completing the financial review, which for most people will add about 10 minutes to the overall meeting time.
Important - Will writing is NOT an FSA regulated activity