We’re now in the first month of the New Year, 2022. Christmas and the start of the New Year seems like a distant memory and perhaps for some of us those New Year’s resolutions we made have also faded away. This year, if I could ask you to make just one resolution and stick to it, it would be to get your affairs in order and make your Will.

Over the last year I’ve taken several calls from members of the public whose loved ones have sadly passed away without a Will in place. This article details some of the calls, as well as the issues surrounding them.

Dying without a Will

Dying without a Will means to die ‘intestate’. When you die intestate, set laws decide what happens to your estate – that’s your property, possessions and money. The Society of Will Writers has adopted a phrase ‘no will, no control’ because if you don’t have a Will you do not get to decide what happens to what matters most to you. This means that you not only lose the right to decide what happens to your estate, but also with regards to other things such as your funeral wishes or guardianship- that’s who you want to look after any of your children who are under 18. The lack of certainty when someone doesn’t make a Will leaves the people you’ve left behind with additional stress, burden and heartache that otherwise could have been avoided. Is it not upsetting enough to lose someone that you love?

The difficult call

It’s always sad for me to take a call from someone who has lost a loved one. Usually these calls are from family members or executors (those given the task of sorting out the deceased’s affairs) trying to locate the Will. They don’t know where the original Will is being kept and they need my help to find it. However, sometimes the call is because there was no Will and understandably, the caller is upset and sometimes concerned or even angry that they aren’t going to receive what they expected or were promised from the deceased’s estate. Having a Will can be a great help as it allows you to gift exactly what you want, to who you want. It gives you control.

Making sure your Will can be found when you’ve gone

Making a Will isn’t the end of ensuring you keep control and have certainty over your affairs. If you die and your Will can’t be found, it could be treated as if your Will never even existed and as such you die intestate. Make sure that your Will is kept somewhere secure, and that at the very least your executors know where it’s kept. Many of our clients choose to store their Will with our affordable document storage. They can store other important documents too such as their lasting powers of attorney and house deeds, at no extra charge. All documents that we send to the secure storage facility are scanned, checked for errors and issued with a storage certificate and ID cards so that when it’s the time for them to be needed, they can easily be located.

Please take my advice

A Will may just be one of the most important documents you’ll ever have, so make sure that this year you show your loved ones you care enough to provide for them after you’re gone.

We’d love to help you. For further details and more information please call Fiona on 07799 213 721 or email fiona@willsandwisheslegal.co.uk.

We can help you with Wills, lasting powers of attorney, trusts, executor assistance for probate and document storage.

Follow us on: Facebook, Instagram, Google and LinkedIn.