Why it is important to make a Will
It is important for you to make a Will for the following reasons:
- If you die without a Will, there are certain rules which dictate how your money, property or possessions should be allocated. This may not be in the way that you would have wished your money and possessions to be distributed
- Upon the death of a person, even the closest of families can fall out over inheritance, which can lead to the breakdown of a family unit. By making a Will, you are making it clear to family members that you have given thought to your estate and considered how your assets will be distributed. Knowing exactly what your wishes are can help to prevent any falling out or argument by family members about inheritance
- Unmarried partners and partners who have not registered a Civil Partnership cannot inherit from each other unless there is a Will, so the death of one partner may create serious financial problems for the remaining partner
- If you have children, you will need to make a Will so that arrangements for the children (such as appointing a legal guardian) can be made if either one or both parents die
- If you have young children, you can use your Will to set up a trust for them to ensure that they do not inherit money when they are too young to handle it sensibly
- If you have a disabled child you can use your Will to set up a trust which will protect them financially
- If you have children from a previous marriage you can use your Will to set up a trust to ensure they receive an inheritance from you while still providing for your new spouse
- It may be possible to reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax payable on death if advice is taken in advance and a Will is made
- If your circumstances have changed, it is important that you make a new Will to ensure that your money and possessions are distributed according to your wishes. For example, if you have separated from your spouse or partner, you may want to change your Will
What happens if I don’t make a will?
If you don’t make a Will, you will die ‘intestate’ and your estate may not go to the people you want. There are special rules for how your estate will be distributed, these are called intestacy rules.
The intestacy rules can have some surprising consequences:
- Even if you are married or in a Civil Partnership your spouse or civil partner may not inherit everything if you also have children.
- Unmarried partners, including same-sex couples who don’t have a Civil Partnership, have no right to inherit if there is no Will.
- If you have no spouse or civil partner and no children, your estate could pass to distant relatives, even if you have never had any contact with them.
Looking for more information?
Should you wish to discuss making a Will in more detail, or if you would like to arrange an appointment, please contact our team who will be happy to assist you. While it may be difficult to think about the future, it can also be reassuring to know that you’ve made your wishes and preferences clear. Our team are here to help in getting you and your loved ones the peace of mind that you have done everything you can to protect them after your death.