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Why it is important to make a will:

It is important for you to make a will whether or not you consider you have many possessions or much money. It is important to make a will because:

  • if you die without a will, there are certain rules which dictate how the money, property or possessions should be allocated. This may not be the way that you would have wished your money and possessions to be distributed
  • unmarried partners and partners who have not registered a civil partnership cannot inherit from each other unless there is a will, so the death of one partner may create serious financial problems for the remaining partner
  • if you have children, you will need to make a will so that arrangements for the children can be made if either one or both parents die
  • it may be possible to reduce the amount of tax payable on the inheritance if advice is taken in advance and a will is made
  • if your circumstances have changed, it is important that you make a will to ensure that your money and possessions are distributed according to your wishes. For example, if you have separated and your ex-partner now lives with someone else, you may want to change your will. If you are married or enter into a registered civil partnership, this will make any previous will you have made invalid

If you are in any doubt as to whether or not you should make a will, you should consult a solicitor or Citizens Advice IOW who can give you lists of solicitors.

For more information about what happens if someone dies without making a will, see Who can inherit if there is no will – the rules of intestacy.

What should be included in a will?

To save time and reduce costs when going to a solicitor, you should give some thought to the major points which you want included in your will. You should consider such things as:

  • how much money and what property and possessions you have, for example, property, savings, occupational and personal pensions, insurance policies, bank and building society accounts, shares
  • who you want to benefit from your will. You should make a list of all the people to whom you wish to leave money or possessions. These people are known as beneficiaries. You also need to consider whether you wish to leave any money to charity
  • who should look after any children under 18
  • who is going to sort out the estate and carry out your wishes as set out in the will. These people are known as the executors

Whether you should use a solicitor:

There is no need for a will to be drawn up or witnessed by a solicitor. If you wish to make a will yourself, you can do so. However, you should only consider doing this if the will is going to be straightforward.

It is generally advisable to use a solicitor or to have a solicitor check a will you have drawn up to make sure it will have the effect you want. This is because it is easy to make mistakes and, if there are errors in the will, this can cause problems after your death. Sorting out misunderstandings and disputes after your death may result in considerable legal costs, which will reduce the amount of money in the estate.

You should remember that a solicitor will charge for their services in drawing up or checking a will. They should give you the best possible information about the cost of their services. They should give you this at the beginning of their work with you.

For more detailed information visit citizensadvice.org.uk/family/death-and-wills/wills

Mountbatten Free Will Writing Service:

Mountbatten have partnered with Bequeathed to offer you a FREE online Will-writing service that allows you to make a simple Will in a way that suits you best. The service helps you consider everything you need to think about when making a Will, and identifies issues where legal advice could be valuable. If you want legal advice, the service connects you to a solicitor who’ll give you a price to help you complete your Will face-to-face or over the phone.

There is no obligation to include a gift in your Will to Mountbatten but many people like you do. Gifts in Will’s help secure the future of Mountbatten for Island people, ensuring we will be there for the people you care about after you have died. Your legacy will be the nurse that visits in the middle of the night to care for a patient, the medicines and equipment dying people need to live out their final days in dignity and comfort, and the support for families to help them adjust to the loss of a loved one. 

For more on this service visit mountbatten.org.uk/free-will-service

Updated 28/07/2020