Why do I need a will?
A professionally written will can provide peace of mind for you by knowing that your wishes will be carried out. Below are a number of reasons that having a will written makes sense.
1. You choose who will inherit your assets, including property and personal possessions.
If you have not had a will written your assets may not go to whom you would choose, and in some cases may even go to the state. (see dying without a will.)
You may also have valued personal possessions, or family heirlooms which you would like passing on to a particular person.
2. Avoid family disputes.
No-one thinks it will happen in their family, but nothing can guarantee a dispute over your assets better than not leaving a will. Leaving clear and unambiguous instructions in a will as to who should receive what can avoid any arguments between relatives.
3. Appoint legal guardians for your children.
If you have children under 18, you can specify who you would like to bring them up if you were to die. If you do not appoint legal guardians then you would have no say in who your children live with. See more on appointing legal guardians for children.
4. Minimise your Inheritance Tax liability
Because of house price inflation, many people now reach the qualifying threshold for paying Inheritance Tax at the current rate of 40% of your assets. Advance planning can reduce or eliminate your liability to this, ensuring more of your assets go to those you wish. Find out more about minimising Inheritance Tax liability here.
5. Set up trusts for family members.
You may have young family members who you would like to leave something for once they reach a particular age.
6. Nominate an Executor to deal with winding up your estate.
You can choose who you would like to deal with the often complex process of winding up a deceased estate. By doing this you can ensure that the task does not fall to someone who may be unsuited to it.
7. Unmarried partners.
If you are living with someone but are not married to them it is critical that you make a will to protect them, otherwise they may get nothing. Unmarried partners have very little protection in law and the idea of a ‘common law partner’ has no legal standing. Read more on unmarried partner legal rights to inheritance.
8. Make clear your funeral wishes.
9. Make donations to charities.
A professionally written will is probably cheaper than you think. Contact us for more information.