Why is it important to make a Will?

Matthew Penley Wills Trusts Probate Solicitor

Reasons why you should make a Will today

There are a number of good reasons to make a Will. Firstly, anyone who owns a property or has savings and investments should seriously consider it. A Will allows you to decide how your estate is to be distributed and avoids assets being subject to the Statutory Intestacy Rules, which apply when someone dies without a Will. You can appoint your own Executors, choosing between one and four individuals, who you know to be trustworthy and competent. If you have children under the age of 18, you can also appoint guardians in the Will to look after them, if both of their parents die before they reach the age of 18. In some cases, a Will may include a trust, if it is inadvisable for a beneficiary to receive a direct inheritance.  In that case, the inheritance will be held by your Executors and Trustees, usually for the rest of the beneficiary’s life.

If you are not married or in a civil partnership, your partner is likely to receive nothing from your estate under the Statutory Intestacy Rules, so it is advisable for both of you to make a Will. However if you are married or in a civil partnership, in some cases the Statutory Intestacy Rules will mean that your spouse or civil partner will receive significantly less than you had intended, it is still therefore advisable.

In your Will, you can choose to leave specific gifts of cash or personal possessions including heirlooms or items of personal significance to friends and family. It is also an option to leave a gift of cash to one or more charities, which is usually free of inheritance tax.

To be legally valid, a Will must be signed and witnessed in the correct way. It can be revoked at any point, by making a new Will or amendments can be made in a Codicil, which must also be signed and witnessed. A well drafted Will helps to avoid the possibility of a dispute after someone has died, and can also reduce any Inheritance Tax that will be payable.

 

To begin the process of making a Will or for more information please contact us today to make an appointment with one of our specialist Wills, trusts and probate solicitors.

Further reading.

 

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