Why make a Will?

WHY YOU SHOULD MAKE YOUR WILL WITHOUT DELAY

Everyone urgently needs a Will; without a Will you die intestate, which means that all you own is distributed under rules laid down by law irrespective of the wishes of your family which can cause arguments and great distress. Making a Will is the only way to ensure that your wishes are carried out after your death.

If you have not got a Will you should make one without delay otherwise it could greatly affect the future of your family and friends.

Why make a Will?

If you die without a Will, you die intestate and your family will suffer the consequences which may cause them family arguments, great distress and financial difficulties.  Without a Will, your wishes are ignored and even the appointment of guardians for your children may not be as you wanted.

Making a Will is the only way to ensure that your wishes are carried out after your death. If you have not got a Will you should make one without delay.

A Will is essential to allow you to appoint your executors, trustees, guardians, and beneficiaries and should be carefully reviewed at least every 3 years.  Those in the following categories have particular essential needs for a Will:

  • all married people
  • all retired people
  • all families with children under 18
  • families containing stepchildren; one in 8 of all families in the UK
  • unmarried couples; over 23% of all couples living together. Two-thirds of all married couples have lived together for more than 2 years before marrying.
  • all divorced and separated people; one third of all marriages end in divorce.
  • single parents; over 40% of UK births are to unmarried mothers.
  • anyone with assets; applying to almost everyone.

If you have made a Will at some time in the past, you need a new Will if:

  • you have since remarried
  • changes in your situation have occurred: for example, deaths, births, marriages, divorces, or inheritance affecting people named in your Will.
  • several years have elapsed since you made your last Will

Why many people ‘haven’t got around to’ making their Will

Research reveals that most people know they need a Will but “haven’t got around to it yet”!  The 3 reasons usually given by clients are:

  • The inconvenience of having to take time away from work.
  • An unwillingness to visit a solicitor’s office.
  • Worries about the likely legal costs of making their wills.

Welcare Guardian has solved these 3 problems by providing a simple yet professional home visiting service which is both convenient and low cost.

  • Our counsellors visit clients at their home at a time of their convenience.
  • Our clients have the confidence of knowing that their Wills are checked and provided directly to them by a firm of qualified, practising solicitors.
  • Welcare Guardian guarantees our fees to be the lowest. (See our price and service guarantee.)

Benefits of becoming a client of Welcare Guardian

Clients who have their Wills provided by us become members of the Welcare Guardian Association. Membership provides you with a lifetime of valuable benefits, some of which are detailed below:

A Welcare Guardian client care-line is available weekdays to answer client queries other than legal queries which are dealt with by the solicitors who have provided the Will.

All Welcare Guardian Wills are checked and provided by qualified practising solicitors and the completed Wills are sent directly to you by the solicitors with a pro-forma diagram which assists you in attesting (witnessing) your Will.

All clients need to store their Wills with the panel solicitors since Wills are irreplaceable if they are lost, stolen or destroyed. Important items such as house deeds and valuables should be kept securely - but these can be replaced or insured against loss. However a Will is different:  a missing Will cannot be replaced after the death of a client. Wills should not be stored in a client’s home, they should be stored with the panel solicitor who has provided the Will.

By returning the signed Original Will for storage the solicitors are able to check that the Will has been correctly attested because mistakes can invalidate the Will. See below for details of other valuable client benefits:

Benefit 1: Willbank facility

Will storage with your panel solicitor  

You should not store your signed and attested (witnessed) Will in your home because of the risk of theft, accidental loss or destruction. Storage with a bank may be expensive and you will be charged every time you amend or withdraw your Will. As a member of the Welcare Guardian Association, a Willbank Facility is made available to you. Your panel solicitor will store your signed and attested (witnessed) Will until it is required by your Executors or for as long as you may require.

The unsigned copy of your Will provided by Welcare Guardian can then be stored with your private papers for your added convenience. The solicitor’s address is recorded on the cover of the copy Will so that the location of your signed Will can be made known to your Executors. Your panel solicitor will be pleased to act for your Executors when required.

Welcare Guardian retains a copy of your Will stored electronically for your added convenience.

A valuable benefit provided by Welcare Guardian is that you may replace or amend your Will at any time for the nominal price of £12.50 plus vat per Will.

When you return your signed Will to the panel solicitor for storage, you will be sent a receipt by the solicitor to acknowledge safe delivery.

Benefit 2: Legal assistance

Free legal advice from your panel solicitor

This section explains the benefits of the legal advice from the panel solicitor who has provided the Will:

Perhaps you have been involved in a road accident, you have been involved in a boundary dispute with a neighbour, you have been served with a notice of redundancy by your employer, or you are buying a house and need legal work carrying out.  What do you do?

Law is a complex subject.  The increasing number of statutes and regulations adds to the daily minefield faced by not only the man and woman in the street but also by those with more expert knowledge.

Often further complication and expense could be avoided if simple straightforward advice could be obtained over the telephone from a qualified legal adviser.  That is precisely what Welcare Guardian Legal Assistance offers you.

This service is designed to provide easily accessible professional legal advice from the firm of solicitors who have provided and stored your Will.  Members can telephone in at any time during normal office hours and will receive up to 30 minutes legal advice free of charge.  The Legal Assistance service can cover a wide range of enquiries including:

  • Personal injury
  • Consumer problems and disputes
  • Motoring prosecutions and accidents
  • Employment matters
  • Family Law including divorce
  • Disputes with neighbours
  • Commercial situations
  • Conveyancing and house purchase
  • Any other personal matter

Benefit 3: Preferential fee rates  

Preferential fee rates from your panel solicitor

Your panel solicitor will be pleased to act as your family solicitors in any legal matter at the preferential rates provided for Association members.

They will also provide advice to your Executors when necessary and will act for them when required at the preferential rates provided.

When acting for members, panel solicitors will carry out work where possible over the telephone and by post to avoid the expense and inconvenience to you of personal visits.

Benefit 4:  Replacement Will facility

Replacement Wills for just £12.50 plus VAT

Your Will requires reviewing approximately every three years since changes which could affect your Will might have come about, for example, through a death, birth, divorce or marriage affecting the beneficiaries, guardians, or executors named in your Will.  Also there may be a major change of circumstances within a family such as moving house or acquiring an inheritance.

An out-of-date Will can have unfortunate consequences and requires swift amendment.  A valuable benefit of Association Membership is that you may replace or amend your Will at any time for the nominal price of £12.50 plus vat per Will.

After a will is made, a subsequent marriage will make the current Will invalid, unless it has been written in expectation or contemplation of marriage. This also applies to a formal Civil Partnership

Benefit 5:  Price and Service guarantee

Our guarantee to you

In the unlikely event that a client, having obtained a Welcare Guardian Will, finds an equivalent service within 28 days at a lower fee, then Welcare Guardian will be pleased to refund the difference.

Welcare Guardian is committed to maintaining the highest quality of service and all Wills are therefore provided by our selected panel of practising firms of solicitors. When necessary, you may speak to the solicitors responsible for your Will to obtain information or answers to queries.

Welcare Guardian is also committed to providing the best available value-for-money service for clients and, in the unlikely event that you find an equivalent service at a lower price, unequivocally guarantees to refund to you any price difference.

Note: An equivalent service is defined as where:

  • The Will has been issued by a practising firm of solicitors.
  • A member of the provider’s staff has visited the client’s home at a time of the client’s convenience to take written instructions.
  • The provider is not acting as the client’s Executor nor is receiving any pecuniary benefit from the introduction of an Executor nor from the duties thereof.
  • No extra charge has been made for out-of-hours visits including evenings and weekend visits.

Benefit 6:  Financial advice

Access to advice from an Independent Financial Adviser

Everyone who takes Will instructions: Welcare Guardian, the high street solicitor, or the high street bank should recommend a financial review and we always do so.

Welcare Guardian cannot give you financial or taxation advice - this, legally, has to be provided by a professional adviser.  We have a panel of IFAs who are happy to visit our clients - and they are currently helping many clients on a whole range of matters including insurance, pensions, Inheritance Tax and investment advice.  If you request a free financial review then we will pass your name and telephone number to one of these Independent Financial Advisers.

If your financial adviser advises you that, for example, your Will should contain a Discretionary Trust in connection with Inheritance Tax planning or to protect the inheritance of a disabled child, Welcare Guardian will, at your request, incorporate the relevant Trust into your Will completely free of charge.