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Make a Will ‘watertight’ with top tips

Preparing a Will should be done properly to avoid the need for correcting costly mistakes later, a solicitor is warning.

Karen Yates, solicitor in the Wills & Estate Planning team at regional law firm Napthens, warns that Wills are complex and crucial documents, and having one written without the correct advice could end up being a costly mistake.

She advises that buying a Will online or having one prepared by a Will writer instead of a solicitor may not be the right option.

Now Karen has given her top tips for making sure a Will is as ‘watertight’ as possible.

She said: “The starting point is to make a Will in the first place. Far too many people still do not have one, and if this is the case you’re subject to the intestacy rules which means the law determines who receives what.

“By making a Will, you’re taking that power and responsibility and deciding for yourself, not relying on someone else to make the decision.

“We have seen situations where a Will has turned out not to be valid when someone has died, only coming to light when the executors attempt to unravel the document.

“It can cost thousands to rectify problems with a homemade Will, far more than to have a proper one drawn up to start with.

“Involving an expert in the process lets you benefit from their experience to help you find the best route and make sure everything is done in accordance with the law – properly drafted, dated and witnessed.”

Karen’s top tips:

  1. Make a Will to ensure your wishes will be carried out properly
  2. Involve an expert
  3. Think carefully about who your beneficiaries will be – leaving everything to your spouse may not be the best option in terms of tax planning, for instance
  4. Carefully select an executor to carry out your wishes
  5. Make sure the Will is properly drafted, witnessed and dated.

For further advice, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Wills & Estate Planning team.

Karen Yates, Probate Solicitor