Wills and probate

Don’t wait until Will Aid November comes round again – sort out your Will today

Should I make a Will?

“The short answer to that question is yes.  Writing a valid Will is the only way you can be sure that your wishes are carried out and your loved ones provided for after your death. Also, dying without a Will can cause your family the distress of resolving legal problems on top of losing a loved one,” says Darren Duncan, director of McConnell Kelly Solicitors.

November is designated as Will Aid month – this means you have the perfect opportunity to get your affairs in order – while being part of something great through making a real difference to others’ lives through donating to Will Aid, instead of paying solicitors’ fees.

But don’t wait until next November comes around – it’s important to make, or update, your Will now.

Darren Duncan added:  “McConnell Kelly has been number one in Northern Ireland in the past three years with donations to Will Aid – helping hundreds of  people write their Wills while benefiting a number of charities with thousands of pounds of vital funding. These charities include; The British Red Cross, Christian Aid, Age UK, NSPCC, Save the Children and sight savers.”

There are many reasons to make a Will, including leaving possessions to friends and loved ones, making sure loved ones are properly provided for and leaving lasting gifts or legacies to a favourite charity.

A Will is particularly necessary in the following circumstances, where without a Will in place, legal rules are likely to produce an outcome contrary to the deceased’s wishes:

  1. Couples who are living together but are not legally married or in a civil partnership but who wish their partner to inherit some or all of their estate.
  2. Couples who are legally married or in a civil partnership and have children and who wish the spouse/civil partner to inherit all of the estate.
  3. Couples who are legally married or in a civil partnership and want to ensure their children receive a larger share of the estate than under the current rules.
  4. People with no living relatives who wish to leave their estate to friends (the Government may take an estate if a person dies leaving no Will and there  no surviving relatives).
  5. Those who are legally married or in a civil partnership and don’t wish their spouse/civil partner to inherit anything.
  6. People who are legally married or are in a civil partnership and have children from a previous relationship and who wish to ensure that those children receive something from the estate.
  7. People who wish to provide for dependent relatives e.g.  minor children, elderly relatives or relatives with a disability who have special needs. When a Will is drawn up, people should appoint guardians to look after any children and set up trusts to provide for dependants.
  8. If you’re divorced or if your civil partnership has been dissolved, you can decide whether to leave anything to an ex-partner.
  9. To make arrangements for tax planning where the estate is large and may be liable for Inheritance Tax.
  10. To leave a lasting gift, such as a piece of art, or jewellery to a friend a or a legacy to a charity.

“Vital funds raised through the NI market leader McConnell Kelly have helped provide essential medicines, shelter and clean water for those in need across the developing world and closer to home,” said a spokeswoman from Will Aid.

McConnell Kelly has three offices located in Ballyhackamore, Dundonald and Bangor. Please take this opportunity to have your Will professionally prepared by calling:

Andrew Smyth: McConnell Kelly Bangor: 028 9147 9900

Mark Hamill: McConnell Kelly Ballyhackamore: 028 9065 5511

Fergus McConnell: McConnell Kelly Dundonald: 028 9048 9816

Issued on behalf of McConnell Kelly Solicitors