Why do you need a Will?
To be sure your wishes are followed when you die a Will is essential. By having a Will you can ensure that your loved ones are provided for and your assets pass to the people you want them to, giving you peace of mind.
If you do not have a Will your estate will be distributed in accordance with the intestacy rules, which are statutory rules that govern the distribution of a person’s estate. You will have no control over how your estate is divided and it may end up going to people you would not want to inherit.
10 reasons why you should make a Will:
1. It is much easier for your friends and family to sort everything out when you have a Will. They will have clear instructions as to what your wishes are and there will be less risk of a dispute. It is important to make things as straightforward as possible at this difficult time.
2. If you die without making a Will and have no living relatives then your estate will pass to the Crown.
3. You can choose your Executors who are the people responsible for implementing the terms of your Will and administering your estate.
4. You can appoint guardians for your children who are under the age of 18. You can also include financial arrangements for your children’s benefit e.g. a trust which they can access when they are older.
5. Inheritance Tax planning can be included in your Will. It can be drafted so as to make use of the various exemptions available and potentially reduce your inheritance tax liability.
6. You can include your funeral wishes, for example whether you would prefer a burial or cremation. You can state the type of service you would like e.g. a church service or a simple memorial service.
7. You can make specific bequests in your Will, for example you can leave specific items of jewellery, furniture or sums of money.
8. If you are unmarried and have a partner who you want to leave everything to then it is important to have a Will as your partner would not inherit under the intestacy rules.
9. You can change your Will at any time and as many times as you like. It is advisable to re-visit your Will at least every one to two years or whenever your circumstances change i.e. the birth of a child or the acquisition of new assets.
10. If you have re-married and have children from a previous relationship you can include gifts to your children in your Will to ensure that they inherit from your estate. If you die without a Will the majority of your estate will pass to your surviving spouse under the intestacy rules, and your children may not get anything.
From the reasons above it is clear that your Will is an extremely important document and it is therefore essential it is prepared correctly. If you wish to discuss the preparation of a Will or review an existing one, please contact a member of our Private Client team who will be more than happy to assist.