Although a very depressing thought a Will should never be thought of as a document of doom and gloom but rather as an opportunity to look after your loved ones. Not having a Will puts your loved ones at risk as your property will be divided according to the laws of intestacy and that may not be what you wish.
One of the big impacts we have seen, is that the pandemic has prompted a huge surge in the number of people either making or updating their Wills. The COVID-19 pandemic has, unsurprisingly, caused many people to stop and think about whether they have a valid, up to date Will in place.
We understand that you may wish to get your affairs in order during these uncertain times. In order to assist in this, we set out the main considerations to assist you to create your will, while ensuring social distancing and minimising contact with others.
It is still possible to make or amend your Will during the COVID – 19 crisis. If you are interested in making or updating your existing Will please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and we will arrange a video call so that we can advise you appropriately. Once we have received instructions a draft Will will then be emailed to you for approval. The email will be followed up with a call to make sure you fully understand the terms in the Will and discuss further any queries you may have.
You need to review all of your assets and decide whom you would like to benefit. You also need to consider if your children need guardians. Have you considered a trust arrangement? Is there a specific asset you want someone to have? These are just some of the considerations we can discuss with you.
Once the Will has been completed (you have confirmed the contents of your Will) we can forward the original to you with instructions on the execution and witnessing or arrange for a socially distanced meeting either at your home or in the office.
For a Will to be valid you must be over 18 and be of sound mind. A Will must be in writing and must be signed at the bottom of the document in front of at least two witnesses, neither of whom should benefit under the Will.
Once you have made your Will you should revisit it every five years particularly given the fact that Capital Acquisitions Tax can change with each budget. Your Will can ensure that you maximise the benefit of the group thresholds allowed for your beneficiaries.
A Will has no affect until a person dies and can be changed at any time. Your marital status is of relevance when you make a Will. Subsequence marriages revoke a Will and if a person making a Will has been separated or divorced, they will require advice relating to the succession rights of former spouses or partners including their entitlements.
Finally making a Will is an ideal opportunity to benefit any charity and once your family and friends have been looked after, it is a great way to support a favourite cause in the future.
An enduring power of attorney is a legal device that enables you to choose a person called an attorney to make certain personal care decisions on your behalf in the event of you becoming mentally incapacitated. You may choose one or more attorneys. You must also notify two people that you have executed the power. If you become incapable of managing your own affairs your attorney must apply to have your enduring power registered in the High court. The enduring power will not come into force until it is registered.
If you would like to speak to one of our specialised solicitors about updating your Will contact Orlaith or Fiona today.
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