What you Will do before your holidays


The school holidays are not far off now. No doubt many of you are planning a holiday – either at home or abroad. I’m envisioning your list compiling now. ‘Alexa, put sun-cream on holiday packing list.’  But how many of you have instructed Alexa to put getting your Will written onto the holiday to-do list? I thought not. So, I’m telling you now, what you Will do before your holidays.

  1. Plan Ahead

There’s tons to think about, when planning a family holiday. And that’s without worrying about getting work projects tidied up, handing over, etc, etc. Even IF you’ve instructed Alexa to put writing/updating your Will on your things-to-do-before-I-go-away list, how far up is it?  If it’s not at the top – why not? You don’t need me to tell you that trying to get a Will drafted two days before you’re off to Heathrow or getting the top-box on the car roof is not ideal.

You’ll have neither the emotional energy nor the literal time to give due consideration to what you want your Will to say. The best result of doing it this way is a stop-gap Will. One that you’re sure to have to revise later.

Better by far to allow yourself enough time. The time you need to ponder such massive pitfalls as inheritance tax – let alone who gets the vintage, designer chair, and your jewellery.

Allow that that time and you can pack the car to the gills or board your Easyjet flight to the sun with an easy mind.  Once at your destination, you can bask, not only in the sun, but in the knowledge that your Will is appropriate and future-proof.

  1. Do not panic buy

Panic buying is never a good idea. It’s not a good idea when looking for a Christmas gift for the impossible-to-buy-for Great Aunt Jane. And it’s absolutely not a good idea to draw up your Will in a last-minute panic.

As a Will writer, I never cease to be staggered, every single summer season, by the number of calls I get from hectic holidaymakers wondering if it’s possible to get their Wills drafted just before they get on the A30 to Cornwall or an Airbus A321 to Crete.

It seems always that the imminent holiday prompts people to remember that, despite their Alexa list-making, they still haven’t done their Will. This is a common scenario when the whole family is travelling together and their collective imaginations run riot. ‘What if the plane crashes?  What if something happens while we’re away?’

Then there’s fear of a terror attack. At this point, I’m duty-bound to point out that statistics show that flying is the safest way to travel. We all know that crossing the road or riding a bus is likely to be more dangerous. But when did logic ever prevail in these situations?

All I know is, that out of all the reasons why people do decide to draft their Will, my long experience of Will writing tells me that going on holiday is high on the list.

So! 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.

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 come home.  Again, this may well add to the costs.

  1. Think about what you want in your 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 your Will must cover.

  1. Decide on who you want to be your Executors. Then ask them if they’re willing to take on that responsibility and 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. Could these be your adult children, perhaps?
  2. 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.
  3. 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 the entire family, 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 you also need to think about such things as inheritance tax, your funeral wishes, and any legacies you might want to leave.

  1. Remember that I can help

If you’ve booked your holiday and you know you need a Will contact me at least one week before you travel.

If there’s enough time to draft a well-considered Will that is appropriate for you, I’m more than happy to do 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 enjoy your holiday and know that you’ve already sorted out your Wills and have to fret about nothing more than footwear and cardigan needs – and possibly passport-gate queues. I fear I can’t help there!

So, pick up the phone, and let’s make sure you’re only thinking happy holiday thoughts before you go away this year!

Don’t delay, contact me at info@swindonwillwriting.co.uk or drop me a line at: 07538946839. I also have a web form here.

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