With there still being around 59% of eligible adults who have not written a will, would introducing oral wills lower this percentage?
There are many arguments around oral Wills, but why is this something that should be approached with Caution?
One of the many risks of this is the question of how would the testator witness the will with there being no wet signature and how would you be able to identify that the correct person has witnessed the Will and this isn’t someone who will be benefiting, meaning that this Will would now be invalid.
Another downside of a recoded will is how the testator would make any amendments to the will in the future, could this be done as a recording that is added onto the will or would this need to be a completely new recording?
Finally would happen if both recorded wills are saved and not dated at the time of death. Therefore confusing the case at the time of death.
While this is something that isn’t recommended for the general public to get involved with, and only in a few states are courts willing to consider the claim of an oral will, this would only be valid if it was heard by at least two witnesses and it was made by:
1. a member of the U.S. armed forces while in actual military or naval service during a war, declared or undeclared, or other armed conflict
2. a person who serves with or accompanies an armed force engaged in actual military or naval service during war or other armed conflict, or
3. a mariner while at sea.
So, why is it important for you to have the correct Estate Planning in place for your clients?
Many advisers are now turning their attention to the importance of estate planning running alongside their lifetime financial planning. Whilst financial planning is something that clients are now seeking more confidently, with a rise of 25% since 2016, clients still need that nudge from their financial planner to put a will in place.
Having a Will means that you can not only express you wished but also, appoint your Executors and Trustees, Guardians for your children, so why is it so important to have the correct planning in place?
Without a Will, an estate is not protected and the family cannot give any input at the probate stage. The property and equity become the responsibility of the government who then assess the amount of Inheritance Tax to be paid and to whom the assets belong to. It may not always fall to the spouse and if a couple are not married; they are not entitled to receive anything at all. Further to this, any small children actually become the responsibility of Social Services and do not necessarily go to the next of Kin/ designated guardians.