I want to make a Will – do I need to see a solicitor, or can I make it myself?
Although it is possible to make your own Will, perhaps using an online form or buying a template from a shop, this doesn’t offer the peace of mind of seeing a solicitor who specialises in advising on Wills - and if you make your own Will then it may not do what you think it does.
Here are three reasons to instruct a solicitor to prepare your Will:
1 – To ensure that your wishes are followed
The instructions in a Will must be written clearly and carefully - if they are not then this can cause uncertainty - this may mean that your wishes are not followed, and lead to disagreements and expense after your death.
There are also specific requirements for signing and witnessing Wills, and if these are not followed then the entire Will may not be valid. This could mean that your belongings and money do not go to the people you want them to go to.
2 – To protect assets
It is also possible to make provision in your Will for reducing care home fees, whilst still ensuring that your family is provided for.
3 – To plan for the future - inheritance tax planning and care home fees
The inheritance tax rules changed in April 2017, and the rules generally are complicated. Asking a solicitor for inheritance tax planning advice could save significantly more than the cost of the advice, meaning more money for your family after your death.
Other reasons why you should ask a solicitor for advice on your Will include if you have a business, if you have minor children, and if you cohabit with your partner –anyone who makes their own Will does not benefit from expert advice.