I have been told to make a Will, but do I need to?
Jul 8, 2021
Too few people make Wills. That well-worn fact may not resonate with those busy juggling the everyday demands of modern life. But putting off making a Will, or turning a blind eye to the need for one, could have significant consequences for those you care about.
A Will lets people know how you want the things you own to be dealt with once you have passed away. It can include instructions about your funeral, your pets, charitable donations and, crucially, who you appoint as ‘executors’ to handle your affairs on your behalf. So, when it comes to wanting certain things to happen - and not to happen - after you have a died, a Will is the way to do this. If you don’t make one, you will be leaving things to the rules of intestacy. These dictate who should inherit from an estate, and the outcome may not be the one you intended.
There is more to a Will than gifting to a particular loved one, or passing on investments to family members or friends. While the ability of a Will to gift assets is hugely important (and can take some working out at the drafting stage), there are some other really significant advantages that come with it.
Advice and careful drafting can mitigate any potential Inheritance Tax liability for an estate, working to use all available exemptions and reliefs to the best effect.
If you have children, a Will should specify who you would like to be their legal guardians. It’s the reason we advise any new parent to make a Will as soon as possible to include this provision. It’s the opportunity to set out in a legally binding way who you would be happy, and could depend on, to take the best care of your children, should neither parent survive.
Another reason to write a Will is if you and your partner are committed to each other but are not married. Unmarried partners can come off badly in intestacy situations. However long you have been together, and however entangled your finances and possessions, an unmarried partner won’t (unlike a married partner) be automatically entitled to anything you own when you die.
These are just some of the reason why it’s a good idea to plan ahead. Talking your situation through with a specialist Wills lawyer will help you see how you can structure your assets tax-efficiently, protect those you care about, and see that your loved ones’ future is as safe and secure as you can help make it.
To talk to us about making a Will, or about any other aspect of future planning, contact Karen Barlow or any member of the Private Client Team on 01264 353411 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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