Making a Will ensures that you stay in control of the money and possessions that make up your estate after you die. Without one, your assets may be distributed according to intestacy laws. This can cause uncertainty for loved ones during an already difficult time and may not be how you would have wished for your property to be allocated. Below, we list the top five reasons for making a Will.
1. To provide for your loved ones.
By making a Will, you are empowered to decide exactly how your estate will pass to your family and friends, known as ‘beneficiaries’. There are many common misconceptions about the inheritance rules that apply without a Will. For example, your spouse will not necessarily inherit your whole estate automatically. By making a Will you can also choose to leave certain belongings or legacies to specific people or charities. Having a Will therefore provides you with the peace of mind of knowing who will receive what from your estate.
2. To choose who will distribute your estate.
When making a Will, you can appoint people called ‘executors’ to distribute your estate. This gives you the freedom to choose trustworthy, responsible individuals to act on behalf of your estate after your death. This may be a relative, friend or a legal professional such as a solicitor. Your executors will make sure that your assets are inherited by the people that you intended, so it is important that you can decide who this should be in your Will.
3. To minimise the amount of inheritance tax owed by your estate.
Through careful inheritance tax planning, a solicitor can help you to minimise the amount of tax owed by your estate when you die in the provisions of your Will. Inheritance tax can be a stressful obstacle for relatives to deal with; making a Will now will ease this potential burden for your executors in the future. It also ensures that as much of your overall estate will pass to your intended beneficiaries as possible, preventing anyone from losing out on their legacies due to the inheritance tax that is owed.
4. To consolidate your funeral wishes.
It can be very helpful to have clear funeral wishes in your Will. While it is possible to plan for your funeral wishes without one, there is a chance that these intentions may get separated from your Will or even lost altogether. By including your funeral wishes within your Will, all of your intentions are kept in one place. This makes it much easier for your executors to plan your funeral exactly as you would have wished for it to be.
5. To make other post-death decisions.
There are many other decisions that you can make in a Will. For example, you can choose a guardian to care for your children if you die before they reach the age of 18. You can also decide who will take care of your pets. Without a Will which clearly states your intentions for these matters, the outcomes may not be as you would have wished.
For more information about our Will making services or to book an appointment, please contact Megan Hawes who is in our Private Client team by email email@example.com or directly on 01284 715694.