It’s never too early to make your Will

Over the past couple of weeks, as well as my normal workload at Nelsons in Tenterden, I have had to make three emergency Wills. To be fair, one was not – I suspect – a genuine emergency: the client insisted he was about to die and that he had to be visited at home so he could make his Will but, as he is now asking for time to pay his bill, I reckon he was just demanding special attention.

The other two were genuine emergencies. One client was going into hospital for urgent surgery and wanted to make his Will first; happily, the surgery was successful, and he is now convalescing, but he did genuinely need to make his Will, just in case. In the last case, I was telephoned on the Friday of a bank holiday weekend by a nurse from a local hospital; a patient was to be transferred that day to a hospice, and wanted to make her Will before she died. I visited her that afternoon in the hospice and discussed her wishes. On the Saturday, her husband checked some paperwork and confirmed some details that were unclear. On the Sunday, I drafted two possible versions of the Will, depending on how the client felt, having had a chance to reflect, and on the holiday Monday I visited her again to present the draft Wills and discuss them. She duly made her decisions and signed the appropriate version, and I trotted back home, satisfied that I had done my duty.  The next morning, I received a call from her husband, to say the client had died overnight: a classic deathbed Will.

For a number of reasons, it is much better not to leave making your Will until it is nearly too late: quite apart from the risk that it may, indeed, be too late, it gives little opportunity to reflect on what provisions are appropriate or to consult one’s relatives, and it may leave too little time to check financial details that may be crucial for a proper decision to be made. Also, requiring your solicitor to put aside other planned work to deal with an urgent Will is not the best way to minimise his or her fees.

I therefore want to encourage everyone to make their Will before it becomes urgent: do it now, while it is not likely to be needed soon, and you can do it properly, efficiently and inexpensively. Once the Will has been made, it can be (nearly) forgotten about – just review it every few years or when your personal circumstances change.

To this end, for clients who instruct our’ assistant solicitor (Jasmine Jirbandey) to make their Will, and who do not require the Will to be made within a fortnight of doing so, we will offer a 10% discount on our normal fees for making Wills: telephone Jasmine (01580 767100) on any Tuesday or Thursday between 11am and 3pm to start the process. She will be happy to meet you at the Nelsons office in Tenterden, if you want, or to take instructions by telephone or email.

We also have further information about the Will-making process on our website


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