It’s something many of us put off, but it’s crucial to decide what will happen to your assets when you’re gone. A Will helps ensure that the right people benefit from what you leave behind. In this blog, Richardson’s Wills looks into the benefits and drawbacks of writing a Will online.
What is a will?
A Will is a note, drafted by a professional, which will make sure that all your wishes are met when you are gone. That means you get to decide who will administer your estate, who will look after any children, and who will benefit from any assets you leave behind, such as property or savings.
It’s not an easy thing to consider doing when you’re young and healthy, but as soon as you have dependents and obligations (financial, like a mortgage, or emotional, like caring for loved ones) it’s worth having one written up.
Many worry that Will writing will be a long and onerous process, full of legal jargon. But it doesn’t have to be this way at all.
Why do I need to write a Will?
The last thing your surviving friends and family will want to do after the sorrowful event of your passing is jump into your affairs and try to work out what your wishes were. Not leaving a clear document of how you wish things to go can cause real conflict and is a real burden to leave behind.
On a legal note, if you pass away without leaving a Will (legally referred to as dying Intestate), your assets will be shared out according to the Intestacy Rules. Currently these amount to:
If you’re married or in a civil partnership
You will leave all of your assets and personal possessions, up to the value of £270,000, to your husband, wife, or civil partner. The remainder will be shared out by giving an ‘absolute interest’ (full rights) to the husband, wife, or civil partner over half of what remains, and the other half is divided equally between surviving children. If one of these children is deceased, their own children will inherit in their place. If you’re married or in a civil partnership but don’t have children, your surviving partner inherits everything in your estate.
If you’re unmarried with children
The children will inherit the entire estate, upon their 18th birthday (shared equally between them if there is more than one child). Grandchildren and then great-grandchildren can inherit this share, should one of the children be deceased. The money will not be available until your children are 18.
If you’re unmarried with no children
Your estate will be allocated by first giving to your parents, then full siblings, then half-siblings, then grandparents, uncles and aunts, then their children, then half-uncles and half-aunts then their children. Your partner, if you have one but aren’t married or in a civil partnership, would not be included in your inheritance.
If you’re unmarried with no living relatives
Your money and assets will, in this instance, go to the Crown.
What are the benefits of making a Will online?
- Making a Will online is cheaper
Any legal documents need to be legally binding, so it historically has required meetings with legal professionals to draft Wills – the bill for which will be considerable higher.
- You can go at your own pace.
These are important matters to decide, and tackling them online means you can go at your own pace, taking time to consider the questions in as little or as much time as you want.
- You get a little help.
If you understand what you want to include, or your needs are simple, but you need a little help with the process, online Will writing is the perfect option.
- It’s quick and easy.
If you’re wondering whether to write a Will, it’s a great initial choice. You don’t have to weigh up a heavy financial investment in legal assistance but can quickly ensure your intentions are followed through when you pass.
What are the drawbacks of making a Will online?
- You get no specific legal advice.
If you have a complicated and personal situation, perhaps you’ll require a personalised and tailored response. In this case, it might be worth seeking legal assistance in person. Writing a Will can often be a tough task, so we’re here to gently guide you through every step with a uniquely human touch.
- Not many Will writers are fully legally qualified.
Nevertheless, if they’re a member of a recognised trade body, then they’ve been trained in Wills and estate planning. At Richardson’s Wills, we are members of the Society of Will writers and Affiliate members of S.T.E.P, fully qualified to assist you with any aspect of Will writing.
- They might not be able to securely store your Will.
An online provision relies on you securely storing your copy, which could lead to it’s loss. We offer secure storage through Kings Court Trust and add all stored documents on the Certainty Will register, to give you peace of mind that your Will is safe with us.
Nobody wants to think about what things will be like when they’re gone, but it’s really important to make this provision to ensure the well-being of your family and loved ones. Here at Richardson’s Wills, we can ensure that your most valued assets are passed on to the right people when you’re no longer around. Get in touch today to make a Will online, via video consultation, or at an at-home consult.