9 Apr 2015

Make Me A Will

Make Me A Will

"Do we need to make a will?" is a question that never once crossed my mind in my twenties. I did not think about a will when I got married, I did not think about making a will when we got our own home. All that changed after J was born.

Becoming a parent changes everything, it turns your life upside down and radically alters your perception. "We need to make a will," followed naturally.

You would wonder why, as generally healthy parents in their thirties, we were thinking of making a will. Like any normal parents, we had to ensure we were making adequate provisions for our child's future. And it wasn't just money that I was thinking about, though that is obviously an area of concern.

What we were most worried about was the question of guardianship in the event both of us, his natural parents, passed away (God forbid and touch wood!) The law is that even if there are obvious guardians in sight for the child, like grandparents or godparents, the courts intervene and decide who gets custody of children under 18.

We were not about to leave the future upbringing of our son to pure chance. Making a will was the only way we could name legal guardians for our child and ensure some security for his future.

So when the people at  www.makemeawill.com approached me to try out their online will making service, I knew the time to procrastinate was at an end. It was now time to act.

With no legal background at all, we were slightly nervous at the outset. Was a will made using an online service legally valid? Would it be easy to use the service? What if we didn't understand all the legal mumbo-jumbo and ended up writing something we didn't mean? These were but a few questions that almost put us off using makemeawill.

Honestly, I really should not have worried. The online service is provided by BTWC Ltd, who have experience in will writing for over 15 years. So you know you are dealing with someone who knows what they are doing. And the support offered is excellent. You can either phone in with your queries or send an email. We sent all our questions out in emails, and always got prompt and clear responses that helped us along the way.

The website itself is easy enough to use. You can see if the service is right for you via a checklist and then take part in a will interview. The answers you provide in this interview will be used to draw up your will. You have ample opportunity to modify your answers and check that all the information you provide is accurate and truly reflects your wishes before you hit the submit button and make a payment.

MakeMeAWill also offer a checking service, where your documents are checked to make sure they are in order. They will, at no point, dictate what you include or exclude in your will. That decision is entirely yours to make.

Once your will is ready, you are sent an email reminder requesting you to access your account, download and print your will. There are accompanying notes explaining in simple terms what your will states. I found these really useful, as they helped me understand what each part of my will was detailing. The legal terms alone would have left me flummoxed.

There are also detailed instructions on signing, witnessing and dating your will. You need two people to witness your will. You have to sign in their presence, and they in yours. Once this is done, and only after it is done, your will becomes valid.

I have a few things that I would like to see changed with the Makemeawill service. Firstly, the font used for the actual will interview needs to be much larger that it is. It was quite difficult to squint at the fine print on the page, especially when you are approaching middle age and still refusing to get your reading glasses. A larger type would make it so much easier for everybody.

A couple of other things. I would love to see a glossary of all the commonly used legal terms explained really simply. So people using makemeawill don't have to search for these terms or query the team for definitions and explanations. And it would help if the pricing structure and options of wills available were laid out upfront rather than at the end of the process. So people can pick at the outset what choices they want, say a single or mirror wills, or opt for the standard or premium service.

That said, both M and I are really pleased we used makemeawill. I would recommend them for anyone, not just parents, thinking about making a will. And believe me, you can never be too young to draw up a will. It is the best way to outline your wishes and ensure your loved ones are looked after.


Disclaimer: We were offered the use of this will making service free of charge for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

13 comments:

  1. It's really striking how many people, particularly with families who don't have a will. Usually the Law of Succession kicks in, but without a will sorting out estates can turn into a costly business. Stephen :o)

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  2. I haven't thought about my will yet but this is something I will really need to think about getting made now x

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  3. I think everyone should have a will, it's so important to have your wishes heard.

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  4. This is such an important thing for everyone to do, especially those of us with dependent children.

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  5. I must be odd I thought about a will really early on, I had nothing to leave at that point but wanted to make sure my wishes were known, it's soooo important

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  6. Odd you should say about this got a phone call today, they are so very important.

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  7. This sounds like a good service. We felt we needed to make a will for similar reasons - it would be awful if the children ended up being fought over, or not in a home we were happy with.

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  8. I really need to do this and I have to admit I've been putting it off xx

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  9. we really really need to do this! x

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  10. Oh gosh, this is one of those things we keep saying we must do, and then not getting round to. Terrible really!

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  11. Something that we really need to do I think.

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  12. Its something I guess so many of us don't want to even start thinking about. This sounds like a great service.

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  13. We so need to do this - keep putting it off

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