The importance of talking

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I am a great believer that when families, and in particular parents, are looking at preparing Wills they should discuss such matters with their children and, if appropriate, the wider family.Whilst a Will is, of course, a private document if one is prepared to discuss the issues with the family that will be left behind after their own demise, it can be hugely helpful in maintaining harmonious family relationships.

In this day and age, where family structures can be so varied, and dare I say it, there might be competing interests from previous relationships, talking to the children, partners and any other relevant party can prove to be beneficial.

After the death of a loved one tensions often run high, and the uncertainty of not knowing whether somebody has been provided for or not can lead to matters boiling over.Sadly, comments can be made, which can then never be undone.

It is often the “not knowing” that can also lead people to be suspicious and sceptical about other parties.It is at this time that there might be thoughts about a loved one having been manipulated or coerced into doing something against his or her Will.

A lot of issues can be avoided by families being prepared to talk prior to this time and having the certainty and knowledge about what a person wishes to do with his or her own Will.Such discussions can, of course, take place at home, although probably not over Sunday lunch, or it can be helpful to discuss matters openly with the Solicitor who is helping to prepare the draft Will.It is at this time that questions can be asked, and if all parties are happy to talk openly and frankly, clarity can be achieved, together with the certainty of knowing what provisions are being made.Such certainty can also extend to knowing that it is that person’s own wish, and not those of somebody else

In this country we have “freedom of testamentary disposition” which means that a person is entitled to make the Will that they wish to make leaving their estate in whatever manner they consider appropriate.An individual’s wish may not always be understood, or appear to be acceptable to the family left behind, but taking the opportunity to discuss the reasons help alleviate this.

Please talk to the family when you are making your Will, it can be hugely helpful, and if you need help facilitating these discussions then we can, of course, help.

If you require advice in preparing your Will please contact Richard Horwood, Head of our Private Clientteam.

Please note the contents of this blog are given for information only and must not be relied upon. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to specific circumstances. Longmores Solicitors LLP are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and are not authorized to provide any form of financial advice.