Should I make a Will?

Should I make a Will?
Surveys show that people put off making a will, often until they’re in their 50s. Three-quarters of the population have a will in place by the time they are 65, but that still leaves a sizeable number uncovered!

Why Make a Will?

Without a will, your family could face a larger inheritance tax bill than necessary as a will can help with the tax-planning process.

Why Make a Will?

If you haven’t made a Will, the law decides who will inherit your assets and possessions when you die. This could mean that your possessions don’t go to the people you want them to.

Why Make a Will?

The rules vary across the UK, but in all four nations, the law aims to protect your husband, wife or civil partner and any children, including any adopted children. The law doesn’t protect unmarried partners or step-children.

If you die without a Will:

  • Assets you expected to pass entirely to your spouse or civil partner may have to be shared with children.
  • An unmarried partner doesn’t automatically inherit anything and may need to go to court to claim for a share of your assets.
  • A husband, wife or civil partner from whom you are separated, but not divorced, still has rights to inherit from you.
  • Friends, charities and other organisations you may have wanted to support will not get anything. • If you have no close family, more distant relatives may inherit.
  • If you have no surviving relatives at all, your property and possessions may go to the Crown.

Without a Will, relatives who inherit under the law will usually be expected to be the executors of your estate. They might not be the best people for the job. A Will lets you decide the people who should take on this task.

Leaving clear instructions in your Will may speed things up and avoid confusion. You’ll also help your executors if you leave a list of what you own, any debts you owe (see Step two) and tell them where to find important documents.

Without a Will, there could be more inheritance tax on what you leave than there needs to be. Making a Will gives you a chance to think about ways to reduce the tax, if you want to.

Having joined Heppenstalls in 2016, Alan specialises in Will drafting and advising in the making of Lasting Powers of Attorney, both Property and Affairs and Health and Welfare powers together with the making of Advance Directives.

If you would like to speak with Alan or a member of our team, call on 01425 610078 or 01590 689500.