If you are looking for pension advice, then it is worth considering that as you get older, you will need to think about what's going to happen to your wealth when you pass away. However, even when you're younger, you need to give Will advice and pension advice, some thought - especially if you have a family who depends on you.
The most important aspect of this is making a Will. By doing this, you will be guaranteed that your estate is passed on to family and friends according to your decisions. If you pass away without having made a Will, the law will decide what will happen to your estate. This means your estate may not go to those people you wanted it to go to, and it can also delay the formalities required before your estate can be distributed.
It is also important to ensure that you review your will at regular intervals or alongside important life events, such as retirement, taking a new mortgage or divorce.
Couples that are not married, co-habiting or those without a civil partnership will not be recognised if there is no Will – so if you're not married, you won't be able to inherit from each other unless there is a Will in place made by either one of you.
A sensible option is to use as solicitor as they will be able to ensure your Will is legal and correct. A solicitor can also advise you on the more complicated legal matters and advise on how you will be affected by inheritance tax. Solicitors fees will vary depending on how complex your Will is, however, you can usually expect to pay between£150 – £250. It is possible to have a Will-writer to do it for you. However, not all of these services are reliable. Even though their fees will be much lower, there have been cases where Wills have been inaccurate or have even been mis-placed.
If you are thinking of having a Will-writer/ to help with your Will, you should always make sure that they are a member of a recognised trade body, for example, the Institute of Professional Will Writers or The Society of Will Writers. As well as having to follow a code of practice, they also have a complaints procedure if anything happens to go wrong.
In some cases, it is possible to get a Will written for free. October marks Free Wills Month where many solicitors offer their services for charitable donations, and anyone over the age of 55 can have a basic Will drawn up for free. And in November, Will Aid works with solicitors in the UK to run National Make a Will Week where again, solicitors donate their time and support for the charity.
Before writing your Will, you should think carefully about what you would like to include in it. You should consider the amount of money you have and your property and possessions – also including your savings, pensions, insurance policies and shares.
You will also need to think about whom you want to benefit from your Will and who would look after any children you have that are under the age of 18. You will also need to appoint between one and four executors who will take responsibility for carrying out your wishes and distributing your estate.
Executors often include relatives or friends, solicitors or banks.
Once your Will has been completed ,you will need to keep it stored carefully and inform your executor of where you have saved it. If a solicitor has drawn up your Will, they usually retain the original and forward you a copy, although you can request the original if you want to keep it for yourself.
Make sure you don't forget to regularly update your Will – particularly after a critical event such as a marriage, divorce, a separation, birth of a child or if you have since moved house. A Will is usually automatically invalid in England or Wales if you marry.
Any change ought to be by 'codicil'(an amendment, addition or supplement to a Will) or via making a new Will.
The law on inheritance is different in Scotland than England. Suppose you wish to make a will and live in Scotland.In that case, you need to contact a solicitor or voluntary organisations like the Citizens Advice Bureau or Age Concern Scotland for advice.
You can also request contact details from the Pension Tracing Service by phone or by post.
The Pension Tracing Service
Telephone: 0800 1223 170
From outside the UK: +44 (0) 1782 389134
Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 5:30 pm
The Pension Tracing Service
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This service is not affiliated with the Department of Work and Pensions or any government body. The Pension Tracing Service does not offer financial advice to our clients. However we can allocate you an Authorised and Regulated Pension Specialist.
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