It’s All About Death – and not just at Halloween

Halloween or All Hallows Eve is the time dedicated to remembering the Dead including saints (hallows in Old English), martyrs and all the other faithful departed.  The festival is typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain, which comes from the Old Irish for “summer’s end” and puts it neatly in the modern calendar at the end of October.

Samhain marked the end of the harvest season and start of winter or the ‘darker half’ of the year.  It was seen as a time when the boundary between this world and the “other world” thinned and the Spirits or Faeries could more easily come in to our world.

So once we’ve spent the night celebrating the saints and martyrs we move on to Guy Fawkes and bonfires and gunpowder plots and more.  It’s a tenuous link but all this talk of death and ghosts set me thinking.

Husband and I are now a normal dysfunctional family in England.  We are on our second marriage with children that are His or Hers but not Theirs.  I’d like him to have anything I’ve saved up or we’ve built together but if I die too soon I don’t want the Potential New Wife to get her hands on it.  I want it to be shared between our children instead.  I’d have to come back and haunt them if I hadn’t written a will and can you imagine the chaos that could cause.  Almost tempting…………………. But no I would rather know that the children will benefit.

November is Will Aid month.  This is a partnership between solicitors and charities where every November, participating solicitors waive their fee for writing a basic will.  Instead they ask clients to make a donation to Will Aid which in turn supports charities such as the British Red Cross,

Its something 65% of adults in the UK do not have in place and it is something on an awful lot of To Do lists around the country.  If you don’t leave a will, the law decides how your Estate (your possessions, money, property, house etc.) is passed on and this may not necessarily be how you want it.

For us it was a very simple process.  It probably took about an hour’s meeting outlining what we wanted and then a second meeting going over things to make sure they were correct and then we signed our lives away.  I now know that should something happen to me then Potential New Wife won’t be spending my hard earned savings on new Jimmy Choos.

If I died without a will then what I want doesn’t really matter, there are rules that are followed and that’s just my tough luck.  Contrary to popular belief it is also not a complicated or particularly expensive thing to do.  Obviously if you have a very complicated family set up or more specialist needs then that will cost more, but for a basic will it can be very reasonable.

For more information look at willaid.org.uk or if you want to talk to someone “already vetted” then talk to Ally Ilott at Heritage Estate Planning.  I can recommend her from personal experience and as someone I am happy to refer my clients to.

If you would like to chat about inheritance tax planning or protecting your assets from long term care costs or any other financial topics please feel free to contact me, Jessamy Walker at Brown Dog Financial Planning Ltd on 01488 682890.

 

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Covering: Hungerford, Marlborough, Wantage,   Lambourn, Newbury, Thatcham & Theale