Have Will – will travel!
Every year, as summer approaches, I wonder if the Will writing business will slacken over the holiday period. ‘After all’, I reason to myself, ‘people are on downtime, they’re relaxing with their families and busy keeping the kids entertained.’ Yet, without fail, the opposite is true.
I find that holiday preparations are a common trigger for people to call me in a panic, wondering if it’s possible to get a Will drafted before they jet off. So, far from being quiet, business tends to get a tad hectic!
This is where a bit of forward planning goes a long way. I wrote about this at around the same time last year but it’s worth mentioning again. Because trying to get a Will drafted two days before you’re about to fly is not ideal. You’ll be in a rush and you won’t have time to give enough thought to your wishes. The chances are that you’ll write a Will that will need changing later because you didn’t have the headspace to take everything into account. I call them ‘stop-gap’ Wills.
It’s far better to allow yourself time. That way you can give all due attention to such thorny issues as inheritance tax before you get to the point of drafting the Will. Then, you can buckle your seatbelt on that plane knowing that you’ve given the Will all due consideration and that it’s appropriate and future-proof.
You don’t want to be worrying about these sorts of things right before you go on holiday. It’s bad enough deciding what to pack!
Why do we panic about Wills before we go on holiday?
I’m not a psychologist so I can only go from experience and what my clients say to me.
All too often people call me, saying they’ve been meaning to get their Wills sorted but it’s only now, with their holiday imminent, they’ve realised it’s still not done.
In particular, it happens when an entire family is travelling together. Then their imaginations go into overdrive. What if the plane crashes? What if something happens while we’re away?
Terror attacks and the undercurrent of a threat of such attacks contribute to this fear factor. I should point out here that statistics show that flying is the safest way to travel. What’s more you’re more likely to get run over by a bus than get involved in a terror attack. We all know all this of course. But logic doesn’t always prevail does it?
Whatever people’s reasons are for deciding to draft a Will, in my sixteen years of writing them, going on holiday is up there.
What can you do now?
Don’t leave it until the last minute! Talk to a professional like myself, now and get your Wills drafted while you’ve got the time and energy to think about it. And that’s not when you’re trying to pack for a holiday and have several things that you need to do at once.
Note too that some professionals may charge a premium for writing a Will in a short space of time. So that’s another cost to bear if you leave it until the last minute.
If you have left it to the last minute then a ‘stop-gap’ Will may be the way to go with a view to revisiting it when you return from your travels. Again, this could add to the costs.
What information do you need to put in my Will?
If you have left it to the last minute and are going on holiday in the next couple of weeks, here are some essentials that you need to have covered in your Will:
- Decide on who the Executors will be and ask them if they’re willing to take on that responsibility. Then get their full names and addresses. If you’re a married couple, for example, the survivor might act as the Executor and it’s only if you both die that you’ll need to appoint replacements. These could be your adult children?
- Decide on who will act as a guardian for your children under 18. Again, make sure they’re willing and then get their full names and addresses.
- Decide on who the beneficiaries will be. If you’re married with children, you may leave your estates to each other and then the children. If disaster befalls all of you, which is what people worry about pre-holiday, who will you then name as the beneficiaries in your Wills? You’ll need their full names and addresses too.
These are the main elements for a Will. But there are other factors to consider. Things such as inheritance tax planning, your funeral wishes and if you wish to leave legacies.
I trust this will help you make the necessary decisions. Then, when you do speak to the professional who is drafting the Will, it will save time because you’ve already made some of the decisions required and have the information to hand for them.
How can I help?
If you’ve booked your holiday and know you need a Will, contact me now. I would allow at least one week before you go on holiday.
If there’s enough time to draft a well-considered Will that is appropriate for you, I’m more than happy to draft it.
If you’re in any doubt, call me and we’ll see if there is anything I can do to help.
I want you to go away, enjoy your holiday and know that you’ve already sorted out your Wills.
So, pick up the phone and let’s make sure you’re only thinking happy holiday thoughts before you go away this year! You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop me a line at: 07538946839