Why have a Will?
- A document that appoints people (executors) to look after your affairs after you die, and instructs them how to do so.
- Intestacy – statutory rules apply as to who has responsibility to deal with your estate and act as administrator and who receives your estate
- the Administrators and beneficiaries will be family (in an order of priority) – but may not be the same people you would choose! The Administrators may not always be the most capable people for the task, and this may lead to disagreements
- it may be that your estate would even pass to relatives you don’t like!
- if there is no-one within the specified categories, your estate goes to the government
- do not assume everything would pass to your spouse/civil partner – if there are children, then if your estate is worth more than £250,000 the children will receive a share (potentially causing difficultly with children receiving share of matrimonial home!)
- beneficiaries will inherit at age of 18 (regardless of whether they are good with money or not!)
- co-habiting partners have NO automatic right to inherit
- also no provision step-children, godchildren or charities.
- choose the most suitable Executors – this is a lot of responsibility, so think about financial abilities, and who will be able to work together in difficult circumstances
- make gifts to others – for example, grandchildren, other family members , friends, and charities
- ensure your surviving spouse/civil partner/partner is properly provided for
- allows you to appoint guardians to look after your children if you die while they are young
- ensure that your estate is protected for your own children in the event your surviving spouse/civil partner/partner remarries, goes into care, or goes bankrupt, for example
- take advice on tax planning
- gifts to charity in the Will may allow your estate to pay Inheritance Tax at a lower rate
- it puts you in control.
- 73% of 16-54 year olds don’t have a Will. Majority of those are men.
- Cost may deter some people.
- Wills may control hundreds of thousands of pounds, so worth spending a bit on making sure you get it right!
- worry about tempting fate!
- an out of date will may be as good as no Will at all
- usually a Will is automatically revoked if you subsequently marry/enter into a civil partnership
- your own family circumstances will change over time, and so will your finances and the law
- consider reviewing your Will if it is older than five years.
How can we help?
If you have an enquiry or you would like to find out more about our services, why not contact us?