It is estimated that approximately 60% of UK adults do not have a Will and therefore run the risk of dying intestate. As death is sadly inevitable for all of us, we highlight eight reasons why you should make a Will sooner rather than later.
1. If you die intestate i.e. without a Will, your assets will be distributed in accordance with the laws of intestacy which frequently causes unnecessary expense, delay, worry and inconvenience for the deceased’s family. The intestacy rules will decide who inherits your estate and this may not be who you want it to be.
2. Writing a Will puts you in control of how your assets are distributed following your death. You choose your own Executors whereas if you die intestate the law will determine who will have the task of sorting out your affairs after your death.
3. Leaving a Will helps to minimise the risk of family disputes and is vital if you wish, for example, to leave a larger share of your estate to one of your children or your partner if you are unmarried.
4. You may think that you do not have a sufficiently large estate to justify making a Will but some assets need have to be sorted out formally to be able to be transferred.
5. A Will enables you to preserve assets for beneficiaries so that you can choose how you want your estate to be divided.
6. If there are any disabled or vulnerable children or adults you would like to provide for after your death, it is vital that you make a Will because even though those individuals may be entitled to receive a share of your estate under the intestacy rules, they may not have the mental capacity to accept that share.
7. If your estate is likely to exceed the Inheritance Tax threshold it is important to seek legal advice about the possibilities of minimising the impact of Inheritance Tax on your estate. A Will would be vital in those circumstances.
8. If you have children under 18 a Will can include the appointment of testamentary guardians to care for your children following your death so your wishes are clear.
If you require advice about making a Will please contact Miranda Richardson in our Wills and Probate department who can be contacted on 01325 281111.