Recent studies show that over 60% of people in the UK do not have a valid Will. Thinking about death is never easy but nonetheless, it is one part of life that is inevitable and will happen to all of us at some point. It is, therefore, extremely important to have a will so that you ensure your loved ones are protected and your do not die intestate (without a will).
If you die without a will, your estate may not be distributed as you wish, and it can be time consuming and stressful for your loved ones to sort out. The “intestacy rules” make very basic provision for your loved ones which may not be what you would want. Your estate will be shared out with your wife, husband or civil partner getting the first £250,000, your personal possessions, and half of what remains after that, is split with any children you have once they reach the age of 18.
A Will is an important document for everyone.
For younger families a Will can be used to appoint guardians and trustees who will look after children and their inheritance until they are old enough to do so for themselves.
For unmarried couples, a Will is essential to ensure that the survivor will inherit as without a Will the law leaves everything to blood relatives i.e. parents, brothers and sisters or children of the deceased rather than their partner. Your partner does not have an automatic right to inherit and could be left homeless.
For people who have married for the second time or with families from a previous relationship a carefully drafted Will can provide for your new husband or wife whilst still protecting your assets for your own children.
A will can assist older couples who are worried about their assets being used to pay for care costs after one of them has died.
A Will can provide a trust and can protect vulnerable members of the family who may have health, financial or relationship problems.
For people who are over the inheritance tax threshold, a will can reduce the amount of tax payable.
It is important to review your will regularly to ensure that it continues to reflect your wishes. Marriage revokes a will, so it is important to write a new one. New babies may arrive, or you might lose someone in your family. Your will may need to be reviewed if you divorce, inherit assets or buy property.
There is never a right time to write a will and it is always on the list of jobs to do, so don’t delay it any further.