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What should happen when I make a will

We have focused in previous articles on why wills are important, how they help you plan for the future, react to change and protect your family and friends. I have recorded reasons why you need to make a will but what actually happens when you want to make one?

I can happily confirm that superstition does not come in to play. I have never seen someone make a will who is then struck by a bolt of lightening or is runover by a bus. I have however seen people skip out of our meeting feeling much lighter, as something that has worried them for a long time has been completed.

When you are ready to make a will it is at a time that is right for you and hopefully not because there is an emergency. Irrespective of circumstance wills can be made over a period or time or very quickly, depending upon your needs.

It is important to make sure you find the right adviser for you. There are many people out there who make wills. Not all will be for you. Some are solicitors, some are legal executives, some are will writers. Some are good, some are average and some are bad! Never feel embarrassed to interview who you want to work for you. When you look for an adviser you should consider

  • are they qualified and regulated?

  • do they have good experience in the advice you need?

  • are they a member of Solicitors for the Elderly or the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners?

  • are they someone you can talk to and build a relationship with?

  • do they come out to see you at home?

  • do they charge a fixed fee for the work they do rather than hourly rates?

These pointers will help you find a lawyer who is good at their job, experienced and a good listener. There is still a misconception that clients should put their lawyers on a pedestal and not question their qualifications or the information they are given. This is simply not true. You are purchasing a service from your lawyer just as you do from your plumber, your garage when you take your car for a service or the opticians when you purchase glasses. You would not ask any of these companies to help you without doing your homework and the same should be the case with a lawyer. You would also not purchase any of these services without knowing how much they will cost first.

You need to feel comfortable with the person who is giving you advice as there may be difficult or emotionally sensitive situations that need to be considered as part of making your will, so make sure your lawyer can give you a hug if you need one!

You will be asked about your family circumstances, your assets and liabilities. You will be asked about medication and health issues, all of which are necessary to help make the best will for you.

You will speak about taxes and care fees, conflict of interests and potential disputes, how to protect your family and assets. You will be asked about what you want to do and who you want to leave things to. The job of your lawyer is then to take what you want to do and put it in a legal frame work to make sure you estate is distributed how you wish.

In the event your lawyer is worried about your ability to make a will they will investigate whether you understand what a will is, what assets you have and how you want to leave your estate within the legal tests that have been established.

Making a will should not be something you worry or stress about. It should be as easy as a chat with a friend over coffee. If it is not like this then may be you have the wrong lawyer?

If you want a chat with a friend over coffee to make your will and even have a lawyer arrive with a fresh cream cake then Argo is for you. Give us a call on 01622 843729 to book an appointment to make your will so you can begin skipping!

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