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Tips to help make a will
Welcome to the latest edition of Senior Snippets: the monthly advisory column with the older members of our community in mind, brought to you by Bryn Evans of Home Instead Senior Care in Sheffield.
It isn’t an easy subject to discuss, but it is a very important one. People either don't want to think about making a will or are worried about the cost, but planning ahead and making a will ensures that when you die your estate is shared according to your wishes. In this instalment, I will be providing some tips on making a will. A will is the only way to make sure your savings and possessions go to the people and causes that you care about.
Choose your executors well. These are the people who'll look after the financial process when you die. They're also the people who will sort out finances – such as paying off the mortgage and/or other debts out of your estate.
Decide who you want to get what, and when. Planning who will inherit what and when makes it clear what your wishes are, and makes it easier for those left behind to deal with the effects of your death.
Use a professional. Although you can make a DIY will, it is recommended to seek professional legal advice from a qualified and regulated solicitor. As well as ensuring your final wishes are met, solicitors can advise you on how to make the most of the available inheritance tax allowance.
Ensure your will is signed and witnessed. Your will must be signed by you as well as witnessed by two independent witnesses.
Take care of your will. Decide how to look after your will and let your executor know where it is. It is best practice not to store it in a bank safety deposit box as the bank can’t open the box until the executor gets permission to administer your affairs. You can also leave it with your solicitor but make sure you keep a copy.
I hope you have found these tips helpful. It is important to remember that if you don’t write a will, everything you own will be shared out in a standard way defined by the law – which isn’t always the way you might want.
I’d love to hear from you! To make a suggestion for a future topic, please write to me at email@example.com or by post to Home Instead Senior Care, Haywood House, Hydra Business Park, Nether Lane, Ecclesfield, Sheffield, S35 9ZX. Alternatively, you can also call me on 01142 469666. Bryn Evans