It is a sobering fact that most people are worth more dead than alive, but you can take solace in knowing you have tied up all those loose ends by making a Will. Writing a Will doesn’t need to be all doom and gloom – it has such a positive influence on the lives of those you leave behind.
Without a valid Last Will and Testament your assets will be distributed according to the rules of Intestacy. These rules lay down a rigid method of estate distribution and make no account of your wishes.
Married Couples/Civil Partners– Writing a Will is the only way to be certain your spouse inherits all your assets (or not, depending on your wishes).
Unmarried/Co-habiting Couples– It is increasingly common for a couple to live together as ‘common law’ husband and wife. The misconception that this term is recognised under Inheritance laws is equally as common. Without a Will your partner is not certain to receive anything, but they could receive everything (depending on how you own assets). Making your wishes clear is vital to avoid family conflicts in the future.
Divorced or Separated– It is essential your wishes are clearly documented in a valid Last Will and Testament, taking into account the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975.
Parents of Young Children– Most parents have strong wishes about what should happen to their children if the worst should happen. It is important your wishes about guardianship are made clear in your Will. You can also decide at what age you wish your children to receive their inheritance.
Making a will enables you to:
- Appoint guardians or set up trusts for young children, ensuring your children are cared for
- Plan the distribution of your estate in order to minimise inheritance tax
- Set up trusts to make provision for a vulnerable person or after a second marriage
- Prevent your loved ones falling out over who gets what
- Protect your property from care fees
- Make gifts of sums of money or specific items to individuals or charities
- Leave instructions about your funeral or cremation
Is your Will up to date?
It is essential to review your Will regularly as highlighted in a recent letter to The Guardian we were saddened to read about the all too common issues faced by a family after their father died without updating his Will for 40 years. This could so easily have been avoided. “A letter to Dad” read more
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