Many problems can arise if you die without leaving a valid Will. Please contact us to arrange an appointment with our specialist Will writer who will provide you full estate planning advice in making these arrangements. So, what can making the right Will do for you?
Deciding who Inherits
If you do not have a Will the government will decide who inherits your possessions, property and money. Who inherits your estate will be decided by the Law of Intestacy and as you can imagine they are unlikely to divide your assets in the way you would choose. For example, under the Law of Intestacy if you are unmarried, if your partner dies, you would not be entitled to any of the estate.
By making a Will you can decide exactly who gets which assets and how much. This could be almost anything from personal belongings to property. You will also help avoid unnecessary arguments amongst family members or relatives, which can arise when a deceased person’s wishes are unclear.
Have you stopped to consider what would happen to your children’s inheritance if you were to die and your partner remarried? Making a Will could avoid unintended beneficiaries to your estate.
Inheritance tax is the tax you pay on your estate when you die. In simple terms your estate is everything that you own at the time of your death, once you have taken away anything that you owe.
Writing a Will may allow you to greatly reduce the amount of inheritance tax you pay or even eliminate it altogether. This then allows you to provide more of your inheritance to your loved ones, rather than paying it to the taxman.
Long Term Care Issues
As we all live longer, more people then require the provision of long term care. The cost of long term care can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds, and could take away a substantial part of your inheritance to your loved ones. Effective estate planning advice may help you to protect your assets from these costs.
Appointing legal guardians for your children
If you have children who are below the legal age to live alone, preparing a Will is especially important. In your Will you can appoint guardians to care for your children in the event of your death. If you fail to do so the authorities will do so on your behalf, in the way they see fit without the benefit of any direction from you as parents. This may increase the risk, that this may be the people you would not have chosen to care for your children. This can be distressing for the children, as well as other family members, at a particularly difficult time.
Setting up Trusts for children
It is a good idea to set up a trust for your children’s inheritance as it allows you some control over your money once you pass away. It is possible for you to lay down certain terms to help protect assets from youthful irresponsibility.
This is particularly useful when making long term financial provisions for disabled children.
In your Will you can include any legacy that you wish to leave to particular organisations or charities. This could be a specific amount of money or even a valuable item. Any charitable donations you make in your Will to UK charities are free from Inheritance Tax. If at least 10% of your estate is given to UK charities, any exposure to Inheritance Tax will reduce from 40% to 35%.
By making a Will, this will assist the desired recipients of your assets to gain access to them far more quickly than if there is no Will in place.
Within your Will you can make known your wishes for your funeral, for example, you want to be buried or cremated, where you want the funeral to take place and any specific hymns or readings you would like included.
So why take out a Will
- By not preparing a Will you inevitably would cause difficulties for those you leave behind, at a time which is already distressing
- You decide how your assets are shared out, not the State
- For unmarried couples, you can make sure your partner is provided for
- You may avoid or reduce Inheritance Tax
- Your wishes for guardianship of your children are provided for