We are often asked this question. Below are just some of the reasons why everyone should have a Will made.
If you have not made a Will then your assets will not always go to whom you would choose, and in some cases may even go to the government. This is particularly important if you are not married to your partner, or if you are remarried and have children from a previous relationship.
You may have valued personal possessions which you would like to pass on to a specific person.
Nothing can guarantee a dispute over your assets better than not leaving a Will. The best advice is to leave clear and unambiguous instructions in a Will as to who should receive what.
One of the duties imposed on your Executor or Executors whom you appoint in your Will – and particularly if you do not have any close family – is to make your funeral arrangements. It will assist them if you can detail the type of funeral you would like, ie religious or non-religious, burial or cremation.
Your Will is your opportunity to make it clear whom you would like to benefit with a cash sum. If you decide to support charities then this could assist with Inheritance Tax planning. Please ask us for advice about this.
Due to house price inflation, many people now reach the qualifying criteria for paying Inheritance Tax at the current rate of 40% of your assets. Advance planning can reduce or eliminate your liability to this, ensuring more of your assets go to those you wish.
You may have young family members who you would like to leave something for once they reach a particular age.
You can choose who you would like to deal with the often complex process and paperwork involved in administering a deceased estate. In this way you can ensure that the task does not fall to someone who may be unsuited to it.
If you are living with someone but are not married to them it is critical that you make a Will to protect them, otherwise they may get nothing. Unmarried partners have very little protection in law and the idea of a ‘common law partner’ has no legal standing.
Even if you do not have substantial financial or property assets you may still have important personal possessions which you may wish to leave to particular people.