It is easy to assume that our property and possessions will automatically pass on to our loved ones when we are gone, but unfortunately this is often not the case. The one thing we know for certain in life is that death is not an ‘if’, but a ‘when’ so whilst creating a will may not seem a priority, with the common perception that it is something you do in old age, if you continue to put it off it may be too late. Without a will, the strict and rigid ‘Rules of Intestacy’ apply. This means that instead of you making decisions as to how best to distribute your estate, the law decides. Our specialists will help you to plan ahead, avoiding unnecessary complications for your family later on and ensuring your loved ones receive what you had intended for them. Additionally, a will is the first step towards reducing the amount of Inheritance Tax that may be payable and is really the starting point for your wider estate planning solutions.
Important Notes Many People Do Not Know
- Your spouse/civil partner will not automatically inherit all of your estate without a Will in place.
- Children under the age of 18 would most likely be taken into care whilst Guardians are appointed. This can also mean that siblings are split up.
- There could be lengthy delays and disputes before your beneficiaries can access your funds – even spouses on joint bank accounts.
- “Common Law” partners (people whom you have lived with for a long time or even your fiancé) may not receive anything.
How to make a Will with us
Making a Will is not difficult. The process we tend to follow is to have a preliminary meeting with you to discuss the whole concept of a will and how it can lead to further estate planning. Following this, we leave you time to mull over your decisions, such as who you would like as your executor or it you have any specific legacies.
Once you are happy, we can meet with you and take your instructions, after which we process the will into a bound document ready to be signed, dated and witnessed.
The importance of keeping your Will up to date.
You may have already written a Will, perhaps when you first bought your house or when your children were young. However it is important to keep up to date with any changing circumstances. For example, upon marriage wills become automatically voided unless a contrary clause is included and upon divorce, anything bequeathed to your ex-partner will not reach them as the will is treated as though that ex-partner is predeceased.
It is therefore essential to review your will after significant life changes, for example, you may now have grandchildren, or you may have purchased another property. We can offer you a free review, helping you determine whether any alterations are necessary.