This January, Labrums is offering 20% off the normal cost of a will or Lasting Power of Attorney.

It’s the new year. You’ve decided to lose weight, quit smoking, drink less etc. But have you promised yourself to get your affairs in order?

Around half of the adult population don’t have a will. But why not if it’s so important?

Many people state they don’t think they need one, that they believe they don’t

have enough assets or their assets will go to their other half anyway in the event of their death.

And for some, it is simply the act of talking about the subject, which many still view as taboo, and ‘tempting fate’.

Iain Wanstall, Wills and Trusts Specialist at Labrums Solicitors, said it is imperative to have an up-to-date will regardless of your age, marital status or wealth.

He said: “The most important reason for writing a will is peace of mind for you and your family.

“One certainty in life is that you will die, but no one knows when that day will come. Everyone should make some plans for that inevitable day to help you and your loved ones.”

Here are 10 good reasons why:

  1. To avoid delay. If you do not have a will it is often necessary to make searches and write to solicitors to make sure no will exists. There will often be someone who is sure you made a will even if you didn’t.
  2. To make sure that if you want to leave a special gift or some money to a named person or charity they receive it.
  3. To make sure that the bulk of your estate goes to who you wish. It is an urban myth that it will always go to your spouse. If there is no will and you rely upon the intestacy rules all or part of your hard earned estate could go to someone you would not wish to benefit or even know!
  4. To take account of the possibility that you and your spouse may die together or the survivor may not be able to change their will.
  5. To make sure the people who you want to look after your affairs are the ones who do it.
  6. If you have young children to make sure that the people you would like to care for them are the ones who do so.
  7. To reduce the risk of family arguments at what would already be a difficult time.
  8. To reduce the risk of claims being made against your estate by friends or family who believe they should have benefitted.
  9. To make plans to minimise inheritance tax and protect your assets from potential claims from the spouses of your beneficiaries in divorce proceedings or intended beneficiaries making rash decisions with their inheritance.
  10. To relieve your loved ones from the burden of trying to decide what they think you may have wanted.

Iain, who is a member of STEP, said: “Reviewing wills regularly is also important. We recommend that wills should be reviewed every 3-5 years or earlier if there’s a change in circumstances or legislation.

“Sadly, some wills do not achieve what you want. It is recommended that you see a solicitor who is both qualified and experienced in advising on, and preparing, wills.

“When it comes to wills, you get what you pay for. The cost is not for the will itself, it is the expert advice that you receive to ensure the will covers your individual circumstances.”

Iain recommends that all adults should also consider preparing Last Powers of Attorney (LPA) to cover who you would like to be able to look after your affairs for you should you be unable to do so yourself, for whatever reason.

He said: “Many people think that LPAs are only relevant for those at a later stage in life.

“However, in my experience people can find themselves unable to look after their affairs at many stages in life as a result of, for example, an accident or illness, or they may be unable to deal with matters themselves due to their being overseas, perhaps for work or living there.”

So, take action this January and put plans in place that will outlast your gym membership.

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