Good communication essential when making a Will

Published: 12/09/2013

Will writing may be a subject that many shy away from but figures released earlier this year demonstrate why it is so important to discuss your decisions with your loved ones.

There has been an increase of 700 per cent in the number of contested will cases in the past five years. This significant increase is, in part, believed to be as a result of a heightened awareness of the ability to challenge as well as the growing financial reliance many now have on inheritance.

However Linda Cummins, Head of Wills and Probate at Goldsmith Williams, believes many of these unfortunate situations could have been avoided by the testator talking things through their beneficiaries:

“Making the decision to write a Will is a hard step to take. However broaching the subject with loved ones is even more so as it means discussing our two biggest taboos – death and money.

“Yet, as the increase in people contesting Will demonstrates, good communication is as much as a part of the Will writing process as putting pen to paper. Explaining decisions to loved ones and managing expectations can go a long way to avoiding a potential dispute.”

Linda also points out that Will writing is not a one-time event:

“Nowadays we often have much more complex family dynamics. Divorce, separation, remarriage, children from previous relationships - all of these events will have an impact on the contents of a Will; people who had previously been named as Beneficiaries, Executors or Trustees may no longer warrant the role. This places an importance of updating a Will as great as the initial penmanship.”

Content correct at time of publication

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