I had everything sorted out. A home, my own company, a husband of 14 years, three children, and lots of lovely possessions! But there was one thing I’d been putting off for quite some time. And that’s my last will and testament.
Basically, if I were to die, everything would go to shit, and if the estate goes into probate, the cost of this will fall to my children or spouse, coming out of my hard-earned cash!
Of course, it’s nice to imagine we’re going to live long fulfilling lives, only dying when we’re completely at peace in our beds surrounded by our loved ones at the grand old age of 98.
But life can throw curveballs, so it’s always a good idea to be prepared. The time had come for my husband and I to write our will. As a family, we have used Warner Goodman on Landport Terrace for years. They put us in touch with Jane Cox, a partner at Warners who specializes in wills, trusts, estate administration, services for the elderly, probate and administration, etc.
As you can imagine, writing a will is a daunting thing to do. Nobody wants to think abut their loved one dying before you, or the thought of dying yourself, and leaving your kids behind when they are still so small.
But once you meet Jane and manage to stifle back the tears, it’s quite painless. We methodically went through everything we needed to put our minds at ease.
After our first meeting, Jane went away to write up our will. We popped back into Warner Goodman to sign it and get it witnessed. We took away our copy whilst Warner Goodman kept the original, to safeguard it and to prevent it getting into the wrong hands, or even destroyed.
So, all in all, it’s not a very comfortable thing to do, but you only have to do it once, and it’s followed by the greatly relieving feeling of knowing that everyone will be looked after if the worst might happen.
Horror stories if no will is in place include:
- Co-habiting couples: they do not receive anything under intestacy, so if you’re co0habiting, it’s essential to leave a will
- Children inheriting estates at 18: you may have sensible children and this may be okay, but if you don’t make a will, they could inherit a substantial sum at 18 with no control of who looks after that money for them — potentially, if you have separated from your children’s parent, they could control the money. Often, this is not what is wanted
- It may be that you have fallen out with a child/sibling/parent, and wouldn’t want them to inherit your estate — under inestacy, you have no choice
- You have no control who are your executors/guardians if you do not leave a will, which means that somebody who may not necessarily be suited gets control