Compton’s Make A Will Month returns this November, thanks to our partner solicitors who are waiving their usual basic will fees for those taking part in the initiative.
Compton receives over £1 million a year just from gifts in wills, so it’s a really vital part of our income. Our Make A Will Month allows you to write a professional will for a low price, while also supporting Compton – it’s a win-win!
We know that writing a will isn’t always at the top of the priority list, and there are a few misconceptions which may discourage someone from putting some time aside to make this important document. So we decided to answer some of the frequently asked questions which surround will making, to help you decide.
Why is it important for someone to make a will?
The rules of intestacy dictate who benefits from an estate when a person dies without a valid will. If a person is separated informally from their spouse (i.e. not divorced), their spouse can still inherit under these rules which may not be what the person wants to happen – cohabiting partners who are not married or in a civil partnership can’t inherit. So it’s really important to make sure that the people who you want to benefit, do! It also means that you are able to leave a gift to a specific charity of your choice, or leave certain items such as jewellery to a particular person.
Having a will in place ensures that your wishes will be followed, not just with your estate, but also with funeral arrangements which can be stipulated in the will too. As well as giving you peace of mind, this can make funeral planning much less distressing for those organising the service at what is already a highly emotional time.
There is also the opportunity to make provisions for adopted or step-children in a will. Once it’s done, you can put it out of your mind safe in the knowledge that your wishes are in writing.
Can you change your will once it’s written?
Yes! Circumstances change as time passes, so it’s to be expected that you may wish to make updates to your will to reflect changes in your life. Wills can be changed at any point, but it’s recommended that you review it every few years just to make sure everything is up to date.
There’s no need to worry about updating your will if your beneficiaries change their own address or name, as it will still be valid regardless.
When do you recommend making a will?
You can make a will anytime, and we would encourage everyone to do so, although often people decide to make a will at key milestones such as buying a house or having children (it’s recommended that a guardian is appointed for children under 18 who would make decisions regarding their education and care. In your will you can even specify certain activities that you wish your child to continue, such as learning an instrument!).
When someone inherits or otherwise has a change of financial situation, or if a family member or friend is poorly, this can often prompt them to think about making a will themselves.
What are some of the common misconceptions about wills?
A common misconception is that making a will is an expensive, complicated thing to do. In reality, it’s a simple legal process and is entirely affordable – particularly if you take advantage of Compton’s Make A Will Month!
Sometimes people think that once they have written a will it’s perfectly valid, but it actually needs to be signed in the presence of two independent witnesses (who cannot be mentioned in the will).
It’s also worth reiterating that even as a married couple, we’re all individuals and separate entities; you can create two mirrored wills which are identical, but still have to sign them separately.
What are your top will writing tips?
Go into the process with an open mind. Your chosen solicitor will guide you through the process, however it’s worth giving some thought as to who you would like to be your executors – these are the people who will carry out your wishes, and can be a professional, completely independent. Also, think about who you would like to benefit from your will, considering any charities you support or specific items you may wish to bequeath to someone.
Having an up to date will is the best way to ensure that your wishes are followed through and secures the future for the people and causes you love. If you would like to write your will with a trusted local solicitor for a uniquely low price, whilst also supporting our vital care, please get in touch by filling out our Make A Will Month enquiry form here.