As the number of disputed inheritances increase, it has never been more important to have a properly drafted Will in place.
Recent reports are demonstrating that the amount of people writing an up to date Will is steadily increasing. In 2017, 39% of individuals in Great Britain had a Will, which has increased to 45% in 2018.
This is really encouraging news, however people surveyed also reported circumstances which make them reluctant to write or alter their Will. Increasingly nowadays, family dynamics change and people are becoming globally mobile. Indeed, the freedom modern living provides for us to re-locate means that it is somewhat unpredictable too. This will only add to the complexity of a Will, which can be daunting.
Making a Will to pass on your possessions after you die should be straight-forward. But unless you get it right, the consequences for your family can be devastating. Here are just some of the things people regularly get wrong when drafting a Will.
1. Drafting a DIY Will
It might seem like a cost-effective option, but quite often DIY Wills are rife with errors that mean they are not legally binding.
According to the experts, disputes relating to Wills have jumped more than a third in five years, and the growing use of DIY Wills and Probate is partly to blame for this increase.
Furthermore, DIY Wills often result in more Inheritance Tax being paid than is necessary as proper planning wasn’t made to protect an estate. Perhaps even worse, if insufficient Inheritance Tax is paid during the Probate process, this can trigger an investigation by HM Revenue & Customs and the executor will be responsible for the payment of any shortfall.
2. Failing to update a Will
Many people don’t know that a Will can be invalidated e.g. if you get remarried.
As such, you must review (and, if necessary) update your Will after every significant life event. This includes things such as marriage, divorce, a death in the family, or the birth of a child. It’s also a good idea to review every five years or so.
With non-traditional family structures and second families becoming increasingly common, not updating your Will could have a devastating impact on the people you love.
Keeping your Will updated will avoid the stress, cost and fallout from a dispute.
3. Thinking a Will can’t be challenged
Even where a Will does exist, under the Inheritance Act, a challenge against a Will can be made where there is perceived unfairness, and reasonable financial provision has not been left. If such a claim is found to be successful, the Court has the power to re-distribute an estate. So, to ensure your Will goes to the people you want to inherit, professional advice is strongly recommended. It is usually easier to defend a Will if it has been correctly drafted by a professional, such as The Fry Group.
4. Not drafting a Will
The most common mistake when it comes to inheritance planning is not drafting a Will at all. However, while it is all too easy to put it off, whatever stage of life you are at, a Will offers the peace of mind that your money, property and other possessions will go to the people you want.
Wealth is escalating through the generations and it is important that your Will is written effectively so that it can be passed on to your loved ones smoothly and without dispute.
To make sure your Will isn’t open to challenge, contact us on 01903 231545 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.