Where there’s a Will… there’s a holiday?

It’s holiday season, so people are off on their travels. It is also the time of year when people start to think about their wills – either writing them for the first time, or updating them.

It happens every year, for reasons unknown. Perhaps it is the ingrained fear of flying that makes people think about their own mortality? Perhaps it is a certain age category who are starting to venture away without their children for the first time, and it gets them thinking about the provisions they need to make. Who knows?

Whatever the reason, if you are considering writing your first will, or making a few last-minute changes, there are a couple of things you need to consider.

Firstly, ask yourself if you really need to be thinking about your will at that specific point in time. What are your motives? Could you delay for a short while and allow yourself enough time to properly think things through. Again, the same applies if you plan to change your will. Do not get me wrong, it is always good to review a will and make sure that it is up to date. This is particularly important if you have children or grandchildren, if you get married, or if someone already named in your will has died.

Whether you are making changes, or writing a whole new will, this takes time – and it is difficult to complete just before going on holiday! All the more reason to consider if now is the best time to be writing or changing your will.

If you do decide to press ahead, remember that you will need to arrange a meeting with a local solicitor, which may also take a few days – or even weeks if solicitors are taking holiday themselves. This is even more difficult if you are in a couple, because you will need to arrange a time that is suitable for you both. It is much easier to plan any meetings with solicitors further in advance to allow for the best possible chance of quickly moving forward with any changes.

An initial appointment can last up to one hour, depending on  the type and complexity of the will you need. . A solicitor will then need to draft your will and  you may want a   follow up meeting, where you will have a chance to ask any questions to ensure that you are happy with and understand the will..

Two independent people are needed to witness the signing of the will and these two people must be present at the same time. We usually act as witnesses during a short appointment so that we can make sure the will is signed correctly. We are always happy to store the original will for safe keeping and will let you have a copy for your own records.

Rushing through a will just before a holiday can be troublesome. The decisions outlined in your will are important, so they should be given the time they deserve to be considered.

If you would like to write a new will, or you’d like to make changes to an existing will contact the Private Client team at Downs Solicitors to see how we can help.