The importance of having a Will
We all know we should have a Will, but why? According to a survey conducted in late June 60% of those surveyed said they did not have a Will and only 29% said they had an up to date Will which reflects their current intentions. Lucy Butcher explains the importance of having a Will and how easy the process is.
What are the benefits to having a Will?
There are many benefits to having a Will and absolutely no disadvantages! Writing a Will enables you to:
- Avoid the laws of “Intestacy”. Without a Will your estate will be administered following the strict rules of intestacy. Therefore it is outside of your control as to who will or won’t benefit from your estate. It will be determined by your family structure and value of the estate. If you are unmarried but in a relationship the rules of intestacy do not recognize your partner as a beneficiary.
- Appoint appropriate executors. You can choose who deals with your estate.
- Appoint guardians for your children. It is essential that you nominate someone to look after your children whilst they are under the age of 18, rather than leaving it for your family (and potentially the court) to decide.
- Appoint trustees. To look after and invest the funds in your estate for your beneficiaries.
- Make gifts of sums of money and/or personal possessions to family, friends and charities.
- Divide your estate between your intended beneficiaries. You may prefer certain beneficiaries to receive differing shares in your estate.
- Provide for assets to be held in trust for young beneficiaries. The intestacy laws state that young beneficiaries inherit at age 18, which you may feel is quite young. With a Will, you can stipulate at what age the beneficiaries should receive their inheritance – many people feel that 21 is more appropriate.
- Provide for the creation of other types of trust – which could:
Provide adequately for your spouse but, at the same time, protect your estate for your children in case your spouse remarries.
If you are in a second marriage, you could protect the assets you brought to that marriage for your children from your first marriage.
Guarantee a right of occupation in a property that you own for an elderly relative for the rest of their lives, whilst ensuring that the property passes to your beneficiaries in the long-term.
- Plan any Inheritance Tax liability efficiently and effectively. It is possible to provide for Inheritance Tax savings via a well-drafted Will.
- Set out your funeral requirements – to reduce the stress on your family at a difficult time.
Gardner Leader makes the process of preparing a Will straightforward. We offer a 30 minute free consultation to discuss your circumstances and this can either be carried out in person or via video conference. We can therefore work round your schedule. We will then send your relevant documents via email or post. We also offer the flexibility of signing your Will in our office or we can post it to you with detailed guidance on how to sign your Will in compliance with the relevant legal formalities including ensuring it is witnessed correctly. Once it is signed you can post the original back to us for us to store it in our strong room and we can provide you with a copy.
There are many benefits in preparing a Will and it is essential that you seek professional advice to ensure that it meets all of your requirements.
For more information on how you can make your Will, please contact Lucy Butcher by emailing Lucy or by calling her on 01635 508187.
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