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New will - points to remember?(5 Posts)
We are in the middle of writing our first will together as a married couple.
We are also in the middle of buying a new house.
We want everything to go to the other in the event of the will being needed. We also have one child.
Seems pretty straightforward, anything we should think about adding or stating?
Think about what will happen if you both die together. Who will be the guardian of your child? How will they access money to bring up your child?
Would you not invest in a solicitor to draw up the wills for you (small pedantic point, it is 2 separate wills you need, not 'a' will, they can be 'mirrored' but there's no such thing as a joint will for a married couple, in the UK anyway). It will cost you a couple of hundred pounds but really as you have a child it's worth it to make sure it's properly drawn up and valid.
For instance you say you straight forwardly want everything to go to each other, fine, but what about the scenario where you both pass away at the same time - you will then need to consider guardianship and financial arrangements for your child. Also whether you want to leave anything in trust for your child to prevent the scenario where the surviving partner remarries and then 'cuts out' the child of the marriage in favour of a new spouse or subsequent children (you may think this is impossible but it does happen). Also who will your executors be, very important to get that part right. You want to also carefully word the will if you are planning any further children to avoid having to re-do the will to include each child ( a solicitor can help here).
Other less important but convenient things to include are what you would want to happen to any personal/sentimental/family heirloom type items if you want these to stay within your own family or go to a specific family member (or conversely you specifically don't want aunty Mary getting her grubby hands on the family jewels etc!). Also a statement of wishes re funeral, religious or not, burial or cremation etc. - these sorts of things can cause real heartache and conflict in the case of a sudden/unexpected death in particular.
Also, this is not strictly speaking to do with wills, have you sorted out life/critical illness cover, it's often convenient to do this at the same time you take out a mortgage, in the tragic event of a sudden death of a spouse, the surviving partner really doesn't want to be faced with losing their home because they can't pay the mortgage too...
Very helpful thank you @maxelly and @ChessieFL
Yes we are going through the solicitor and drawing up mirrored wills. I will look into the other points mentioned too.
Some people stipulate at what age your DS will inherit fully if you die together. The trustees have to hand over control at what age? 21 or 25 for example. I wouldn’t name expensive items in the will as they have to be valued for probate. Total expensive faff. Just stuff away to those you wish to have it. Saves IHT!
We are much older than you and have just redone our wills. We have named our DDs as executors now instead of someone the same age as us. They now get everything and sort of out themselves. Our original executor is a great friend but he’s become so pedantic we don’t think our DDs would ever have inherited anything! So we had to change. Do choose wisely! Be prepared to change when you are older.
Divorce and remarriage is the great unknown!
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