Making a Will is not normally high on a list of most people’s priorities, nor is it a particularly engaging activity, but there are a number of really important reasons why you should make a Will, and do it soon.
1. Your wishes will be fulfilled – whatever you decide should happen after your death, both to your estate but also regarding your funeral, can be stipulated in your Will. Therefore, if for example, you want a portion of your estate to be given to a favourite charity or favourite aunt, this can be made a certainty by using a Will.
2. Intestacy laws will not apply – intestacy means that someone has passed away without leaving a Will. The laws of intestacy can be very strict and unfair - and depending on the size of your estate, there may be a limit as to how much your spouse will be given. In the event of you dying with no blood relatives, your estate will be given over in total to the Crown. By making a Will, this problem can be avoided entirely.
3. Your children will be cared for – if you have children, you will be able to stipulate who you wish to be their legal guardian. You will also be able to make financial provisions for them, for example, to remain in the family home until they reach adulthood. Without a Will, they could be taken into care until a decision over who will look after them can be made by the court, and even then, they could be placed with someone you would not have chosen.
4. Protect your partner if you are not married – common-law partners have no legal rights at all so if you and your partner have never married and you die leaving no Will, there is the very real possibility that your partner will be in financial difficulty. Your Will should be used to protect your partner from such an event.
5. Inheritance Tax Issues – any estate worth over £325,000 is subject to inheritance tax and a Will can help you plan more tax efficiently, as many properties are worth more than this alone. For more, read The Nil Rate Band and The 7 Year Rule article HERE.
6. Divorced but not remarried – many people do not realise that if you are divorced and not remarried and you leave no Will, your ex-spouse may inherit some or all of your estate. This issue needs to be looked at in conjunction with the advice of a Family Solicitor and we have them in our practice, Penn Chambers, to do just that – free of charge, as part of our service to you.
7. To help out your family – when you die intestate the whole process of probate takes much longer and is much more complicated. This will leave your loved ones with a complicated legal position and possibly in financial difficulties until a Grant of Probate is obtained. This has to surely be one of the best reasons to make your Will.
If you are now rushing to get your Will done, here is one last thing to consider: Should You Use Online Will Writing Service?
The information provided in this article is not intended to constitute professional advice and you should take full and comprehensive legal, accountancy or financial advice as appropriate on your individual circumstances by a fully qualified Solicitor, Accountant or Financial Advisor/Mortgage Broker before you embark on any course of action.
Wills, Trusts & Probate team
0207 183 4595