WHY DO I NEED A WILL?

Updated: Aug 7

When advising anyone about writing a final Will and testament (Will), it is important to bear in mind property prices are falling, the stock market is in decline and cash in the bank is at risk, many people feel their personal finances are exposed. Could the situation be worse?


Yes! By not having a Will, your family could experience real difficulty in sorting out your estate and estate planning when you die and if you are in the inheritance tax (IHT) bracket, they will also have to find cash to pay that bill.


Many people assume that if they die without a Will, their partner should inherit everything. In fact, even if you are married, or in a civil partnership, there are limits on what your partner would inherit in the absence of a Will. Instead, the Intestacy Rules apply, which may well put in place provisions that you would be extremely unhappy with.


These same Intestacy Rules provide that children inherit at the age of 18; many people believe that 18 are too young to inherit a substantial sum of money. Making a Will lets you decide the age at which your children - or other chosen beneficiaries - inherit.


Have you considered who would look after your children if you die before they turn 18 or if they are mentally or physically disabled? If you have parental responsibility, you can use your Will and testament to appoint an appropriate person to be their guardian, rather than leave the decision to the Social Services, or even have them looked after by someone whom you would not choose.


Naturally, people are inclined to look for ways to save money through estate planning. DIY Will and testament packs or internet Wills may be cheap, and as a result appear particularly attractive, but a lack of understanding of the law may open your Will to challenges after you die. Mistakes made are unlikely to come to light for many years, by which time it may be too late to correct them. So whilst you saved the cost of having your Will professionally drafted, the consequences could be a loss to your family of tens of thousands of pounds.


Alternatively a specialist Will-writer can help you avoid the various pitfalls and explain the options most suitable to your circumstances and make sure that your Will protects your assets from the payment of inheritance tax or care-home fees. Your Will and testament can include certain safeguards in case, for example, a beneficiary is in the midst of divorce proceedings or has gone bankrupt, is an alcoholic or drug addict, is mentally or physically disabled.


A well-drafted Will and testament can also provide protection in the case of the latter - or perhaps - 'bad' marriages. Do not simply prepare a Will and then forget all about it. The law can change so you should review your Will regularly. Remember - a well drafted, updated Will is a valuable investment.


POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF NO WILL


  • Depending on the value of your estate, your wife could inherit everything unconditionally – meaning an absolute interest so she can do what she wants with the assets - or - with larger estates, a lot less that you (might have) wanted her to.


  • Your surviving spouse could blow the lot - then the kids get nothing.


  • Your children could find a substantial chunk of money in their accounts - when they are 18, mentally or physically disabled, addicted to drugs or alcohol, be insolvent, in a bad marriage.


  • People you do not know, people you do not like, could inherit a substantial sum of money - that you would have liked to give to someone else.


  • Your children's inheritance could be swallowed up in care fees if you / your wife went into a care home.


  • Your business - possibly the main source of income for your surviving family - could be sold or wound up unless you made provision in your Will and testament for its continuance.


  • Your children may be placed in care or with guardians you would not necessarily have chosen for them.


  • If your spouse re-marries (or takes a boy / girl friend) the friend could well finish up taking your whole estate.


  • You will have no opportunity to consider powers of attorney, discretionary trusts, IHT matters, exclusion of people / family members whom you do not wish to benefit.


  • If you have you any issues with cremation, burial, medical research or – when you are unable to express your feelings on these issues through mental incapacity – medical interventions when you may really just want to be allowed to pass away with some degree of dignity.


75% OF BRITONS HAVE NOT MADE A WILL


HOW TO WRITE A WILL AND TESTAMENT?


The simplest step is to make a Will and testament which will ensure that your assets pass to those you choose after your death. Making a Will and testament means you are also able to choose your executor i.e. the person who administrators your estate. You can also choose guardians for any children you may have and make specific gifts of treasured items to family or friends. It is important to remember that where the couple subsequently marry the Will is automatically revoked unless made "in consideration of marriage/civil partnership".


MAKING A WILL


Writing a Will and testament forms part of a branch of law called estate planning and probate. Making a Will is a legal document that allows you to distribute your assets after death. A Will is a legal document that allows you to distribute your assets after death. A Will and testament can be written by yourself or with the help of an experienced lawyer or Will-writer. It is important that you understand the rules around making a Will before writing one, so make sure to do your research before starting the process.


WRITING A WILL


What can we offer? Our book discusses the intricacies of writing a Will. You will be taught how to make a Will and testament which is a well-thought-out, concise, and valid will . Additionally, you will have access to resources and ideas that might help you prepare for your own last wishes when making a Will. Through this book, you will learn all you need to know about creating and writing a Will. Beginning with the fundamentals of what writing a will entails and how it relates to estate planning, this book moves on to discuss what to do when it is time to make any last amendments to your will as well as the correct way to cancel one. You may learn all you need to know here about creating a thoughtful, understandable, and reliable Will. Even if you hire a lawyer to draft your will and for estate planning, having the information to fully participate in the process and create a sound plan for the people you care about can assist.



Writing A Will

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