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Why should I make a Will?

A Will is a document which sets out who is to benefit from your property after your death and how your estate is to be divided. The Will also appoints the person who will manage or administer your estate. Dealing with someone’s affair when they die is often distressing and confusing. At Mandy Peters Solicitors Lewisham we take a very sensitive approach to the preparation of Wills or advising on the administration of estates. We understand that many people, particularly young people are reluctant to discuss making a Will.

When you make a will you can say how your funeral should be dealt with and what willl happen to your possessions and assets when you die. It enables you to choose who will get what instead of leaving the choice up to the government.

You may think you are not wealthy enough, but if you add up the value of your house, car, shares, insurance policies etc. the total may be more than you think. A Will is important if you have children, particularly if you are a separated or unmarried parent as you may wish to appoint a guardian. Careful planning in the preparation of your Will can ensure that you minimise the effects of inheritance tax. Leaving no Will can also create worries for your family at a time of bereavement. Mandy Peters Solicitors are experienced not only in drawing Wills up, but advising on important related matters of law.

You should review your Will every couple of years or when your situation changes through marriage, separation or divorce, or if you buy a house or receive an inheritance. Minor changes only need a small amendment called a codicil. Anything complicated is probably best dealt with by making a new Will.

Where should I keep my Will?

There is no formal requirement as to where a Will should be stored but obviously it should be kept in a safe place that is easily accessible. It is not advisable to keep a Will in a safety deposit box because after your death your Will executors will not be able to open that box without obtaining a Court Order.

You should always make a copy of your Will (which should clearly be marked “copy” on all pages) and make a note on the copy where the original is kept. Finally tell your executors where you have kept your Will and give them a letter of instruction regarding any matters that you do not wish to include in your Will (but do not staple or attach this to the Will in any way).

Can I change my Will?

You can change your Will at any time and as often as you wish. You must however be ‘of sound mind’ to amend your Will.

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