‘Responsibility Is The Price Of Freedom’ (Elbert Hubbard)

When American writer Elbert Hubbard talked about the price of freedom way back in the 19th Century, I doubt very much that he had any idea how profound that statement would be in 2021. With the announcement of Freedom Day and the scrapping of new rules, whilst exciting for some, there is still a lot of anxiety around restrictions lifting. It is now down to us to decide what we want to do to stay safe – whether it’s choosing to still wear a mask, keep our distance from others or decline invitations to busy events. It’s up to us to be responsible and take control. This responsibility not only applies to ourselves but also extends to caring for those around us. Whilst making a Will is not about you, and will not be of any benefit to you, it will be of the utmost importance to your loved ones who are left behind. Many assume that making a Will is for the older generation, but it is often more important for young families to make a Will. The absence of a Will can cause problems, financial hardship, and unnecessary expense for your family at the worst possible time.

Without a Will;

  • Your spouse or civil partner may not automatically receive your entire estate.
  • Your unmarried partner would inherit nothing.
  • You are giving up the power to choose who should look after any of your children under the age of eighteen, leaving the courts to decide on their welfare.
  • Your hard-earned assets may benefit somebody you had not intended to.
  • You cannot make specific gifts of treasured items to family and friends.
  • You cannot help to minimise the amount of Inheritance tax that may be payable on your estate.
  • You cannot ringfence your estate from future care home fees, bankruptcy, divorce or remarriage.

With a Will you take control and ensure that your final wishes are carried out, protecting your loved ones whilst enjoying peace of mind. By making a Will, you will be able to create a bespoke Trust that will provide for your family’s financial security. Should you have young children, you will be able to appoint guardians.

Guardians will be responsible for looking after your children until they reach the age of eighteen, and when choosing guardians you should consider;

  • Age – will they be able to cope with bringing up very young children or be able to control children in their teenage years?
  • Location – will your children have to move school and be separated from their friends?
  • Finances – will they be able to accommodate your children?
  • Religious and moral issues – do they have religious or other beliefs that are compatible with the upbringing that you would like your children to have?

Unmarried partners, second marriages, stepchildren, family disputes and so on lead to competing interests. By making a Will you will be able to address the competing and different needs of everyone in your family unit.

If you have made a Will, well done! However, is it up to date and relevant? Does it still say what you want it to say? Don’t underestimate the importance of a Will – now is the time for you to be responsible and take control. Act now because you cannot do it when it is needed!

As specialists in this area of law, please do not hesitate to contact us for a no obligation free telephone consultation to discuss your particular circumstances.

Samantha Anastasiou – Solicitor