Do you really need a will?
This has been the subject of conversation for a while now amongst my friends and me. Aged 30-40 with children and often home-owners, most of us don’t have wills in place, but do we really need one? And what happens if the worst comes to the worst and something happens to us, our other half, or worse, to both of us?
I never worried too much about having a will in France as the state decides to a large extent what happens to your money. For example you can’t disinherit your children in France, so if you have a massive falling out with your child they will still end up getting a large portion of your estate. No threatening to write children out of your will over there!
However when I moved back to the UK my thoughts turned to wills every now and then (especially when my mum reminded me to be a grown up and get one!). We have two children, we have some assets even though we don’t own property, but I suppose the most important is we have family on both sides of the channel which complicates things a bit.
My biggest fear was something happening to both Hubs and I, and our children being turned over to social services whilst our families decided who should get guardianship of them.
So making a will has been high up on my to do list for a while now, but I just didn’t know where to start as I don’t know anyone who’s got a will except my parents, and theirs still states which aunts and uncles my 2 brothers, 2 sisters and I get farmed out to if they die – we are now aged 32-42!
Then a few weeks ago I was contacted by a lovely man from a company called Maximum Inheritance Specialists, asking me if I would like to try out their will service to review on this blog. Well, I can tell you, he didn’t have to ask me twice.
First of all we set up an appointment for him to come to our house to discuss the ins and outs of our personal wills. He was really flexible with times and dates, and even came over at 7pm, which gave Hubs the chance to get home from work, and me the time to get the girls in bed.
We chatted for about an hour and a half about our needs, exploring all the possible outcomes that we should be prepared for. For example what should happen to my assets if I died and Hubs remarried and had children with another woman (you start imagining Cinderella type scenarios with a wicked stepmother and stepsisters!).
Despite the subject matter being pretty sombre we managed to have a few laughs and joke about it all, which helps when you’re doing something so serious.
A week later, we got an email through, not only with our final wills, but also with an explanatory version, translating the legal jargon into plain English.
Finally, just 3 short weeks after our first meeting, we found ourselves sat around our kitchen table, with one of our lovely neighbours as a witness, signing our last will and testament (gulp!).
I have to say it was an effortles, painfree experience and I can’t begin to describe the peace of mind it has given both Hubs and me (and my mum too!).
So should you get a will done? Here a few pointers to bear in mind if you’re asking yourself that question:
- I was recently at parent blogging conference, BritMums Live, and out of a group of about 500 people, there had been 2 bereavements in the last year, one of which was incredibly sudden. It makes you realise that death can strike at anytime regardless of age.
- Putting plans in place helps to clarify who the guardians of the children would be, rather than leaving it to the discretion of the local social services team. For me this was a huge factor in deciding to get a will drawn up.
- One final point, particularly for those who own a house in the south east of England, acting now rather than later helps save on inheritance tax, as most houses in this area make you liable for it.
I was very impressed with the service we received from Maximum Inheritance Specialists and would highly recommend them. What’s more they are teaming up with Franglaise Mummy to offer you a £50 Marks & Spencer voucher if you mention this blog when requesting a will, and who can say no to some M&S spending money?
A basic will starts at £180 which I think is excellent value for money when you think that they come out to your home (twice), at a time that suits you.
Do not hesitate to contact me if you’ve got any questions about this as I’m happy to help out (if I can).
Whether you choose Maximum Inheritance Specialists or another company, I would say get a will done, don’t leave it to chance.
Disclosure: Maximum Inheritance Specialists provided the will service free of charge for Franglaise Mummy and husband in return for this honest review. The words and opinions are my own and if I didn’t like it I would say.