An out of date Will is the same (or perhaps worse) as having no Will.
The climbing COVID numbers have been a wake-up call for many people. Calls and emails from local people concerned about getting COVID-19 and not having an up-to-date will and powers of attorney in place have doubled since March 2020.
People are worried about getting sick, dying prematurely and leaving a nightmare for their loved ones. Dying without a Will can be a disaster for 2 main reasons:
- Children, heirs and assets are in limbo.
- You have no say in who gets what.
COVID has highlighted that the unexpected really can happen anytime. In other areas of life, those nagging items on our to-do lists: creating an emergency fund, getting life insurance have risen to the top. Making a Will and Lasting Powers of Attorney are often on that longer-term to do list too.
Clients tell us that making a Will always seems like something they felt they have been able to put off, but COVID has encouraged them to get it done. They also tell us how relieved they feel once it’s in place. You can read our client’s thoughts and feelings in their own words in our testimonials on each page of our website.
The pandemic has led to an increase in estate planning and demand for Wills across the UK.
Every adult with a bank account, home, children, pets or a business needs a Will. The legal formalities must be followed for the Will to be valid. Wills are still a paper-based process and social distancing restrictions have created new challenges for getting together with witnesses. Unfortunately the process of making a Will has not kept up with new electronic signing and document transfer technology. Digital signatures on Wills or Lasting Powers of Attorney are not permitted BUT… making a Will is still straightforward and easy to arrange. Our Principal, Donna Hames, explains how in a short video.
Estate planning can create family harmony. A Will is a legal letter of love to your family, to show you care and to make sorting out your financial affairs much simpler for those you leave behind.
We will all face the loss of a loved one at some point. Having a conversation about end of life planning, Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney can definitely make those losses easier on families. The very real taboo subject of death can make those conversations feel daunting and uncomfortable, and many don’t know where to start. Our website and articles have lots of useful information to help you make your decisions – share these with your family so they know you are making your plans. Being open and honest about your views on the practical considerations is a good way to begin any heart-to-heart. Highlight how you want to reduce any burden in the future. No one wants to leave a mess for their family to deal with when they’re gone.
More than half of deaths in the UK are intestate – the legal term for dying without a Will. Most people don’t realise the ‘statutory legacy’ for a married or civil partner with children is only £270,000. Our blog, what happens if I don’t make a Will explains more, in a simple visual representation of the rules.
Why not book a free 15 minute call to help you decide if our services are right for you.
Authored by Donna Hames, Paralegal and Director at Carisma Wills Limited