If you don’t have a Will currently, you should seriously consider what the implications will be on your family if you die without a Will. These consequences can be particularly difficult if you have been cohabiting with your partner rather than having been married or if you have divorced but not remarried. In these circumstances there is the very real possibility that your loved one will not get a penny or that your ex-spouse will inherit everything.
The only way to really be sure about the protection of your family and loved ones is to leave a Will. Unless there is a mistake made during the drafting of the Will and it is invalid, there will be no question that your wishes will be followed.
So if you decide to make a Will, what do you need to think about adding into it? Here are some ideas:
Legal Guardians – if you have children under the age of 18 it is a good idea to think carefully about who would look after them if both you and your partner were to die. You will need to discuss the possibility with the person you want to be the guardian before adding this into your Will. In the event you do not leave a Will, your children may be taken into care before a judge decides who they will live with.
Any specific bequests – if there is something specific you want to leave to one of your friends or family, then your Will is where you would leave these instructions. This is definitive proof of your wishes and your intent and therefore there can be no disputing this after your death.
Charity Donation – there are inheritance tax implications that may work in your favour if you leave a percentage of your estate to a charity. It is worth talking to a financial advisor and your solicitor about this provision.
Trusts – you may want to leave specific instructions about a property or an amount of money in your Will and this could be left in trust. Discussing this with your financial advisor will help to clarify the position.
These are a few ideas to help get you started, but a specialist Wills and Probate solicitor will help to guide you through the process and ensure that you have a valid and legal Will in place for when you die.
This information provided in this article is not intended to constitute legal advice and each relationship breakdown requires careful consideration in our view by a fully qualified Solicitor before decisions are made and before you embark on a certain course of action.
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