Having recently joined the B Legal Limited team of solicitors based in Marlow, Buckinghamshire it has been a great opportunity for me to actually reflect on what a “Wills” solicitor such as me actually does. Whilst not quite a mid-career crisis, having an out of body experience and seeing yourself at your desk does make you think what on earth am I actually doing? Am I simply a merchant of doom and gloom, here to remind everyone they must make their Wills or else suffer the consequences? Or alternatively, am I a bringer of calm and serenity to those members of the public who have wisely asked me to draft their Wills and in the process forever saving them from the uncertainties of the Intestacy rules? (I will come to those pesky Intestacy rules a little later….exciting!)
Then I had a moment of comforting realisation! – slightly dramatic for a blog I know, but this ‘moment’ did provide me with the clarity I was looking for. In a random conversation with one of my new colleagues (who shall remain anonymous) she told me how she had recently got married (to a great guy, by the way), and how they now live together in marital bliss. I being a great guy too, and always able to offer up a captivating conversation full of wit and charm asked my colleague if she and her husband had made their Wills yet (note to self: what questions NOT to ask in order to make new friends at work – “have you made a Will yet” – so, so awful). My colleague and her husband had not made their Wills yet, but assured me their Wills would be simple once they got around to making them. Anyway even if they hadn’t made their Wills yet, my colleague was confident this wasn’t too important because if anything did happen to either of them their assets would automatically pass to each other. Errr…NOT QUITE!
Now was my chance to shine and show my new colleague what extensive legal knowledge I possessed. If you haven’t made a Will the Intestacy rules kick in (remember those). If you are married and have no children, if one of you dies the survivor is only entitled to the first £450,000 of the deceased spouse’s estate and half of everything else. The remaining half of the deceased’s spouse’s estate will instead pass in set order to their parents, brothers and sisters. (For your information, if you are in relationship with someone and are not married, if one of you dies the surviving partner might not get anything at all). This was news to my colleague, she had no idea this could happen. I kindly told her the only way to make sure the possessions you have go to the loved ones you want is by making a Will. With some relief to my colleague I’m now well on my way to drafting her and her husband’s Wills.
That very moment when you realise you can actually help someone make plans for their loved ones and in-turn relieve them of any anxiety is ‘the moment’ you look for as a Solicitor. I now remember why I do this job. Fortunately B Legal has given me the opportunity to spread the fine work of Wills and Estate Planning to the good people of Marlow. So if you need to discuss making your Wills or just want to chat about what plans you can make for your loved ones, give me a call and lets see if we can find that ‘moment’ for you too!