It’s not a subject that you want to think about too much, however it is extremely important to have a will.
By writing a will you are outlining what you would like to happen with your money, assets, possessions and property after you die, ensuring that your final wishes are carried out exactly the way you wanted them to be.
Here are our top 5 reasons why you should write a will:
1/ A will keeps you in control of your financial affairs after your death and beyond. You can specify who exactly you would like your assets to be given to, whether it’s a gift to charity, cash gifts to a friend or a piece of jewellery to a specific child, you are able to do so in your will.
2/ A will makes it much easier for your family or friends to sort everything out when you die – without a will the process can be more time consuming and stressful. Obviously, your passing will be an extremely difficult time for your loved ones to say the least, so why not try and make it as stress free as possible by sorting out all of your affairs so they don’t have to? As the will is legally binding there are no grey areas and no chances for confusion among family members, subsequently reducing any possible family feuds or fights.
3/ If you don’t write a will, everything you own will be divided out in a standard way, as defined by the law – which isn’t always the way you might want things to be handled. If you die without a will in place your estate will automatically be shared out between your immediate family in a pre-defined way determined by the law, so if you are close to people who are not technically related to you, then they’lll end up with nothing. Writing a will means that you can leave anything you own to whoever you like, regardless of if they are a relative or not.
4/ A will can help reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax that might be payable on the value of the property and money you leave behind. Making a will is a major part of estate planning as you make sure that assets are distributed in line with your wishes. Without a will your assets will be distributed according to intestacy rules and maybe liable to inheritance tax that could be avoided.
5/ Writing a will is especially important if you have children or other family members who depend on you financially, ensuring that they receive the right financial stability for their futures and who will look after them after your death. You can also use your will to tell people about any other wishes you may have when you die, for example, if you want a burial or cremation.
When you write a will it means you are making three big decisions:
Who should have your property, possessions and money when you die.
Who will be in charge of organising your estate and following the instructions you leave in your will – this person is called your ‘executor’, and you can name more than one person if you want to.
If you have young children, who should be their guardians until they become adults.
Trying to make your own will, without legal assistance, can lead to mistakes or lack of clarity and could mean that your will is invalid.
If you have a number of beneficiaries and your finances are complicated, it is even more important that you get a professionally trained solicitor to create your will. This makes it easier for those you leave behind.
Need advice from experienced and professional probate solicitors in Wimbledon and Totnes, South Devon? Our wills and probate department have extensive experience in advising you on all aspect of making a will or obtaining a grant of probate.
Please contact us if you need advice.