Richard Oliff: It’s time to make a will

It's time to make a will, says Richard
It's time to make a will, says Richard

I always thought that making my last will and testament would somehow be the ultimate in tempting fate.

This is of course nonsense. Over the years I’ve had to make several such amendments as my personal circumstances have changed.

It’s just another piece of legalese and form filling that ensures one’s possessions, property or any money remaining after one’s death ends up in the right hands.

The simple scenario is the one where one partner or spouse leaves everything to the other: end of story. Ah, if only life were that simple.

People get divorced. Some people have children, others have none. There are step-children, even step-grandchildren, to consider. What is easily forgotten is just how much accumulated wealth some folk have without ever taking stock.

My friend and I were discussing this very topic recently in what, apparently, is ‘free wills’ month. It works like this. During October you can make a will completely free of charge at a participating solicitors. Then, on the occasion of your eventual demise, the cost of making your will, say £75, will go from your estate to an arranged charity of your choice. The information on ‘free wills’ month is easily available on the internet. However, it’s important to review one’s will from time to time, as life has a nasty habit of changing one’s circumstances when one least expects. Remember, if one dies without leaving a will – intestacy – only married or civil partners and some other close relatives might inherit anything.

Mind you, no matter how difficult it is to decide who should inherit from one’s will, I’m reminded on a regular basis just exactly how to spell my brother’s middle name.