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Why should I make a Will?

The idea of making a Will can be challenging, but it is important for several reasons. At an already emotional time, it can help your loved ones to make sure that your wishes are followed. A Will gives you the control, clarity for your loved ones and could reduce possible family disputes. You do not have to carry all the responsibilities yourself.  Please ask for further advice and assistance when worried or doubtful about what to do next. Here are some questions you may have.

Around 60% of the UK are without a Will according to the 2020 Consumer Research Report by IRN. This means that over 40 million people in the UK do not have any control over what happens to their estate.

Why should I make a Will?

Here are just a handful of reasons why you should make a Will.

  1. What happens to your estate?

You choose who manages your affairs (executors) and who inherits from your estate.

Without a Will, the Rules of Intestacy will dictate who benefits from your estate. There is a strict order of entitlement with no regard to your personal values, beliefs and wishes.

A Will can provide you with peace of mind in knowing your wishes will be carried out.

  1. Who will care for children if they are under the age of 18?

A Will can appoint one or more guardians to care for your children if something happened to you before your children reached 18. You can leave a letter of wishes for your guardians as to how you would wish your children to be cared for. For example, that they stay in the same school or local area.

Without a Will and if no-one has parental responsibility, it would be at the court’s discretion to decide who should be appointed to care for your children, which could be a stressful process to go through.

  1. Minimising inheritance tax

A Will can be a tool for financial planning for the future to ensure that your estate can maximise its use of exemptions and reliefs.

  1. Avoid family fall outs and probate disputes

A well drafted and legally sound Will can reduce the risk of people successfully challenging your Will and estate.

  1. Protect the ones you love

The Intestacy Rules do not recognise cohabiting couples regardless of how long you have been together. This means that a cohabitee would not be entitled to your estate in the absence of a Will.

This also applies to stepchildren and foster children.

Not having a Will could mean that these individuals would have to apply for financial provision via the court. This is a costly process in the absence of a Will.

  1. Protect your asset with a Trust

The Intestacy Rules do not account for modern family structures such as second marriages and children from previous relationships.

You can use Trusts in your Will to ensure a surviving spouse is financially secure but can ring fence your assets so that they pass to the individuals you want them to go to, such as to your own children. This can avoid your assets falling into the hands of people that you wouldn’t want them to pass to.

  1. Making a Will can speed up the probate process

A Will can speed up the process of applying for Probate.

The Intestacy Rules can be a lengthy and costly process for those left behind. For example, a genealogical report might have to be undertaken and a family tree drawn to establish who is entitled to your estate and who can deal with it due to there being no executor.

  1. Support a Charity of your choice

You can leave a gift to a charity in your Will. Your legacy can live on through the charity.

At Loosemores our Private Client Department has the legal knowledge and experience to help guide you through the process whilst maintaining sensitivity to our clients. If you would like to contact us for a confidential discussion, please contact Maria Cosslett, Partner and Head Private Client via CosslettME@Loosemores.co.uk or Sabrina D’Acri Davies, Solicitor, via dacridaviesS@loosemores.co.uk. Alternatively, you can call 02920 22 44 33.

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