Having a Will is important but for several reasons, many people do not have one. It could be that family issues get in the way, there is not much to leave to make it worthwhile or perhaps it is assumed that what there is just goes to a partner or family anyway.
Unfortunately, it is not as simple as that. If you wish to know what those you plan on inheriting will do, it is imperative that you make a will.
Why do you need a Will?
If you die intestate (without a will), the law decides who will inherit your estate which may mean that your partner, relatives, friends, or chosen charity may not receive anything.
Although you might be living with a lifelong partner, the rules under intestacy don’t recognise cohabitees. If you are unmarried but live with someone or in a Civil Partnership, your partner will not receive anything from your estate. If you have children with your partner, the children will benefit and if under 18 any inheritance will be held in trust.
What is a Will for?
A Will can address any basic or complex circumstances, for example:
- name someone you do not want to receive any inheritance;
- give a spouse from a second marriage the right to remain in the family home for the remainder of their life;
- appoint guardians for your children should you die whilst they are under the age of 18;
- protect your assets for future generations until they are mature enough to benefit ;
- protect capital for children from a previous relationship;
- minimise inheritance tax payable on death or who should receive business interests; and
- specify funeral wishes or arrangements for pets to save your family from having the worry at a difficult time.
Who can write a Will?
Whilst you can write a Will without help from a solicitor; this tends to be a false economy. The execution of a Will does require legal formalities which, if not followed, could invalidate your Will. A Will drafted by a professional shouldn’t be expensive. It offers reassurance that your wishes are put into effect on your death without complication, at what would be a challenging time for your family and friends.
If you would like to know how we can help you, contact the team for advice.