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Why make a Will?

Many people seem to think that the process of making or updating a will is time consuming, stressful and possibly expensive. With the challenge of juggling work and a home life, it is understandable that putting in place a will can end up being low on the list of priorities.

However it is extremely important that you have an up to date will in place and the reality is that the process of putting in place or updating your will is usually a painless and relatively inexpensive process.

Why Make a Will?

Will you make it a priority?

  • Your wishes

    It is your opportunity to set out how you want your assets (including your home for example) to be distributed when you die and who you want to deal with those assets for you (your Executors). If you don’t have a valid will in place then your Estate will be dealt with under the Intestacy Rules, which date back to 1925, and may mean that your estate passes to individuals you would prefer not to benefit. If you have a will, but it is out of date, your estate may still be subject to the Intestacy Rules if your beneficiaries under that will die before you.
  • Gifts

    You may have specific items (jewellery or other personal possessions) that you wish to go to specific individuals when you die. If you make a will you can include those specific gifts. If you haven’t made a will or updated it then you have no control over what happens to those items after your death.
     
  • Guardians

    If you have children under the age of 18 you can appoint guardians in your will to look after those children in the event that you and the father/mother of those children both die before your children reach 18. If you haven’t specified guardians in your wills, then if the worst should happen, the Court will appoint a guardian. That person may not be who you would choose.
     
  • Intestacy

    Under the Intestacy Rules if there are no surviving relatives the unclaimed assets in an estate will pass to the Treasury or the Duchies of Lancaster or Cornwall. If you would prefer your assets to go to your family, friends or charity rather than the Treasury or the Duchy then make sure your will is up to date. In addition if you and your partner are unmarried or are not in a civil partnership, your partner will have no automatic right to inherit under these rules.
     
  • Tax planning

    Depending on the type of assets you own and who you wish to benefit when you die, your will can be structured in a tax efficient way to take advantage of the spouse or charity exemption, as well as agricultural and business property relief. If these exemptions and reliefs are available then your estate may save a considerable amount of Inheritance Tax, thereby preserving more of your estate for your beneficiaries.

For all the reasons above and if nothing else for peace of mind for you and your family, make it a priority to put a will in place or if you already have one make sure it is up to date.

If you'd like to speak to us, please contact Charlie Siegle, a Partner in our Private Client Team at Kitsons. He deals with Wills, Probate, Powers of Attorney and Trusts and can be contacted on 01392  455555 or at charlie.siegle@kitsons-solicitors.co.uk 

You can also contact us via the form on our Contact page.