Wills can potentially be a very emotive subject. With the increase in divorce and more families involved it can become very complicated. This is why it is vital when writing a will to keep it continually updated and to make it fair as much as possible.
There are various aspects that can complicate matters around wills- for example who will inherit money or property? While some might argue the easiest way around this is to give everyone an equal share this may not always be appropriate- one child may have a more secure job and more money while another may have problems and need the money more (or at least so they may claim).
There is also the problem with inheriting possessions and items of sentimental value- often these are the items that can’t be shared or divided and this in turn can cause further arguments that can be difficult to avoid.
One method of countering potential disputes is to include an Inheritance Act Statement in your will- effectively this is a good chance to outline what is included in your will and why, giving people a context as to why you have chosen to leave certain things to certain people.
The other aspect that is important is to keep it updated- for example if you remarry and your new partner also has children you should make some kind of provision for them as well (as you can see this can get complicated very easily!)
It is also important to check details such as inheritance tax as well as clarifying any amount of money that you would like to leave to charity in your will. You may also want to set aside money for funeral costs and to clarify burial or cremation etc (Not easy things to talk about but if not clarified these are also potential issues that can cause arguments!)
Some people may say “There are documents online where I can write out my will. Why do I need legal advice?”
The simple fact is you get what you pay for- the problem is that a template may not cover your particular needs and requirements and some issues may need to be discussed that are particular to your current circumstances. In the long term the right legal consultant can minimise the risk of any potential disputes as they look at your overall financial situation as well as looking at other issues (for example potential problems with different members of the family etc).
While you can never rule out the potential for disputes entirely having a well organised will with a clear declaration can at least give people clear instructions and remove a lot of the ambiguity that often results in people arguing over the details that have not been covered.
If you would like to know more and would like to write your will or update your existing one please contact our legal team today.