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Do you need to make or update your Will?  

Have you changed your circumstances recently?

Many of us put off making a Will thinking there will be time to do it later. It is estimated that only one third of the population has an up to date Will which reflects their current situation. Making a new Will or equally, keeping your existing one up to date is just as important.  If you don’t make a Will your assets will be distributed under the Governments Intestacy Rules, which may not be what you  or your family need.

Writing a Will is a very extremely and important task to do and you want to be confident that it will be effective and that your wishes are carried out.  Of course you can do it yourself, or use a Will Writer, but if things go wrong you will be leaving problems for your family, with the risks of disputes and significant legal cost to put things right – if they can be.  If you are planning to make a Will you want to be confident that it will do what you want.

To help you make your decision, The Forever Friends Appeal is running for the second year its RUH Will Month scheme and are proud to be working with experienced and fully professional Solicitors who specialise in the preparation of Wills and are members of professional bodies such as the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.  Twenty six legal firms around the RUH Catchment area have kindly agreed to reduce the cost of their service to write  professional standard Wills for supporters at a cost of £100 for standard single will or £150.00 for a standard double.  This fee will then be generously waived by them and kindly donated towards The Forever Friend Appeal to help towards the work of the Royal United Hospitals.

Here are a few reasons why you may need to consider making or updating your Will, sooner rather than later.

Children and new additions to the family : If you have children then you have a responsibility to care for them, and that includes deciding who you would like to care for them should anything happen to you. We advise all clients with children to make a Will, even if this only states who they would like to stand as guardian.

Marriage – As divorce and second marriages aren’t uncommon, it is important to make sure that your existing Will accurately reflects your wishes and protects your loved ones accordingly.

Divorce – When a divorce takes place, it doesn’t automatically revoke a Will, if your wishes have changed (e.g. a change in beneficiary); you must update your Will.  Should you fail to do so, your new wishes won’t be taken into account.

Death ­- If a loved one dies, you should look at reviewing your Will as your loss may have an impact on who benefits from your estate.

Personal choice: You can make arrangements for your family or dependants, gift personal assets to the right person, make gifts to your favourite charity or other deserving causes, and even plan for your pets.

Tax Planning: Not just seeking to reduce inheritance tax, but also in considering who should pay the tax so as to prevent important family assets having to be sold to fund

Avoid Intestacy: The Intestacy Rules are avoided, which would set out who should inherit your assets (and it’s not always who you might think would inherit!).

Co-habitees:If you have been living with someone to whom you are not married, they would not have an automatic right to inherit any of your property unless you make a Will or hold the property jointly.

Clear wishes: with intestacy there are emotional difficulties for families as the rules set out values that pass but do not always take account of any sentimental attachment to specific items. Save the disagreements in the future by making your wishes clear.

Vulnerable Beneficiaries: It is also possible when making your Will to provide a Trust for more vulnerable beneficiaries to protect them in the future.

Age of inheritance: By making a Will you can decide at which age your children should inherit potentially large sums of money.

Peace of mind: You can set out any funeral requests, attach Letters of Wishes to guide your Executors, your online banking passwords that would otherwise be hard to find, even include a recorded message for your loved ones… and then you can forget all about it knowing that if anything happens to you your wishes will be carried out

If you wish to make a Will, please consider taking part in RUH Will Month, not only will you have a piece of mind that it is drawn up professionally and accurately but you will also be helping to support your local hospital. Making your Will through this fundraising scheme is not expensive and probably the best investment you can make to safeguard your family’s future, your assets and most importantly your wishes.

For an information leaflet regarding RUH Will Month please contact Jan Witt, Legacy Officer on 01225 825819 or Email jan.witt@nhs.net

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