Making a Will is not normally high on a list of priorities, nor is it a particularly engaging activity, but there are a number of excellent reasons why you should make a Will, and do it soon.
1. Your wishes will be fulfilled – whatever you decide should happen after your death, both to your estate but also regarding your funeral, can be stipulated in your Will. Therefore, if you want specific music played at your funeral or you want a portion of your estate to be given to a favourite charity, this can be made a certainty by using a Will.
2. Intestacy Rules will not apply – the laws of intestacy, which are applied to an estate if no Will is made can be very strict and depending on the size of your estate, there may be a limit as to how much your spouse will be given. In the event of you dying with no blood relatives, your estate will be given over in total to the Crown.
3. Your children will be provided for – if you have children, you will be able to stipulate who you wish to be their legal guardian. You will also be able to make financial provisions for them, for example, to remain in the family home until they reach adulthood. Without a Will, they could be taken into care until a decision over who will look after them can be made by the court, and even then, they could be placed with someone you would not have chosen.
4. Protect your partner if you are not married – common law partners have no legal rights at all so if you and your partner have never married and you die leaving no Will, there is the very real possibility that your partner will be in financial difficulty. Your Will should be used to protect your partner from such an event.
5. Inheritance Tax Issues – any estate worth over £325,000 is subject to inheritance tax and a Will can help you plan more tax efficiently, as many properties are worth more than this alone.
6. Divorced but not remarried – many people do not realise that if you are divorced and not remarried and you leave no Will, your ex-spouse will inherit your estate.
7. To help out your family – when you die intestate the whole process of probate takes much longer and is much more complicated. This will leave your loved ones with a complicated legal process and all of the funeral costs to find, whilst also grieving for you. This has to be one of the best reasons to act now and make your Will.
Whilst some of these points raised may not apply to you and your circumstances, some of them will and those should be enough for you to recognise the value of making a Will soon.
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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