Everyone knows that it is a good idea to make a Will, but it is rarely at the top of anyone’s ‘to do’ list. In fact, it is estimated that more than one third of adults in the UK die without a valid Will in place.
Failing to make a Will can result in disorder, financial problems and stress for your family or dependants after your death. You should never assume that your loved ones will automatically inherit your money and property. The only way to be sure they will inherit what you intend is by making a Will.
Some of the key benefits of making a Will are:
1) Avoid problems caused by intestacy
If you die without having a valid Will in place, your assets will be distributed in accordance with the rules of intestacy, which impose a strict and inflexible division of the estate. In your Will you can set out exactly who is to receive what, and when. It is far wiser to make a Will than allow the intestacy rules to govern the inheritance of an estate, which can be disastrous for many families.
2) Make everything clear for those you leave behind
Disputes about inheritance can cause arguments among family members and may even trigger litigation. Whilst it is true that even with a Will in place it may still be possible for family or dependents to make a claim on your estate, making a Will with a solicitor allows you to be informed about these risks, and how best to avoid them.
3) Protect your assets for future generations
Families these days are often more complicated than they were a generation ago. Many families will involve unmarried partners or a second spouse and step-children – common issues that the intestacy rules (which date back to 1925) just do not deal with. A well-made Will can ensure that the benefit of your estate passes the way that you want it to.
4) Reduce the inheritance tax burden
Although the government announced beneficial changes to the inheritance tax regime last year, the new rules are complicated. Whilst tax planning is not the main reason most people make a Will, it remains a vital tool in ensuring that your loved ones gain the maximum benefit from available tax reliefs.
5) Deal with foreign assets
Without a well-drafted Will, if you own property or assets abroad these are likely to be dealt with according to local laws, which could result in a very different outcome than the one you intend.
6) Minimise care home fees
Trusts can be written into your Will to avoid nursing home or care fees that might otherwise be payable by a surviving spouse.
7) Choose your executors
You can use your Will to decide who will administer your estate. This is particularly important where there are complex family or financial issues.
8) Appoint Guardians
If you have children under the age of 18, you can use your Will to nominate the right person to look after them until they are adults.
Wills solicitors in East Sussex
Gaby Hardwicke’s Will-writers are experienced solicitors who will make sure your Will is detailed, accurate and considers every aspect of your estate. They will also maximise any tax-saving opportunities.
For an initial discussion contact one of our specialist Wills and probate solicitors: