The stark realities of the COVID-19 pandemic led many people to question their mortality, especially those working on the frontline in the NHS and other key workers who find themselves exposed while performing their duties. It has also driven the question of how prepared people are in the event of a worst-case scenario.
For many, one of the first things to look at is how their estate will be managed after they have gone, and that means having a will drawn up. One firm saw a twelve-fold rise in NHS workers using an online will service, and since offered their services for free for NHS workers.
It’s clearer than ever that there is no time like the present to get your affairs in order and get a will sorted, no matter the scale or size of your estate or the beneficiaries of it.
One of the current issues with getting a will drawn up during the coronavirus crisis is that most solicitors will also be on lockdown and working from home. But they will be also thinking about wills, and how they can help people at home in lockdown wanting to ensure their loved ones are taken care of should the worst happen.
There is no actual legal requirement for a will to be drawn up and witnessed by a solicitor, but it cannot be strongly urged enough to ensure that it is legally sound, and free of errors and mistakes.
A solicitor would likely make more money and business from the family disputes that surround a badly drawn up will than they would drawing one up correctly in the first place. It could cost your family huge amounts of money in legal wrangling if there are disputes over your will.
This is especially so if you have a business, your permanent home is outside of the UK, you have dependents or several family members who could lay claim to your estate.
While there are ample DIY wills on the market, if you have never written a will before then mistakes can be made easily, which would lead to issues that cannot be easily resolved after you’ve gone. Wording on a will must be explicit in its meaning, and any ambiguity will impose lengthy misunderstandings and disputes.
Some of the most common mistakes made on DIY wills include:
- Failing to have the will properly signed and witnessed.
- Failing to correctly deal with any last-minute amendments or errors on the will before signing.
- Failing to take into account the possibility of a beneficiary or executor may die before the person making the will.
- Failing to take into account all money, property or assets.
- Failing to understand the effect of marriage, divorce or dissolution on a will.
There are many reasons why you should have a will, but no matter how quickly you would like it to be completed, there are more reasons why it is always better to have it drawn up properly by expert probate solicitors in Surrey.