Making a Will
Why is it important to make a Will?
It is important for you to make a Will whether or not you consider you have many possessions or much money.
If you are married then you would naturally assume that everything you own would go to your spouse. Your assumption may be wrong. If you die without a Will, then your Estate will be governed by Intestacy Rules. Under these rules there are clear limits on what a spouse will receive. If your Estate exceeds those limits then the surplus monies may go to other persons.
Making a Will enables you to:
- Decide how your assets are distributed on death.
- Ensure that arrangements are made for your family, especially if you have young children.
- If you have young children, then you would probably wish to choose the person(s) who would look after them. These persons are described as guardians. If you have not chosen any guardians for your children, then someone else would make that choice on your children's behalf.
Trustees and Personal Representatives
- Making a Will enables you to choose the person(s) to administer your Estate. These persons are known as Executors or Personal Representatives. They are entrusted to make sure the instructions in the Will are followed. They are also responsible for collecting your various assets and paying any debts. They are then responsible for distributing the balance of monies to your chosen beneficiaries in accordance with the terms of your Will. This is a very important role that should not be considered too lightly.
- If your children are under 18 years when you die, then you would probably wish for the monies that have been left to them to be held on trust for them. The persons entrusted to look after these monies are known as Trustees. The chosen Trustees would then be able to oversee the investment of these monies and may be able to advance monies to the children in times of need. The power of advancement given to the Trustees would depend on the powers stated in the Will. It is therefore essential that you are advised correctly when the Will is drawn up.
Importance of a Will
- It gives you peace of mind that you have a document in place that will carry out your wishes.
- You can include your choice of funeral arrangements in your Will, if that is what you want. This would, no doubt, assist your next of kin at a difficult time.
- If you die without a Will there are certain rules which dictate how the money, property or possessions should be allocated. Unmarried partners who have not registered a civil partnership cannot inherit from each other unless there is a Will, so the death of one partner may create serious financial problems for the remaining partner.
Whatever the size of your Estate, you should always leave a clear and legally binding statement of your wishes. Making a Will is the only way of guaranteeing that your wishes are respected after you have passed away. We can discuss with you the best way of ensuring that your intentions for your property, possessions and investments will be carried out should the worst happen to you. We believe your Will is one of the most important documents that you will ever sign and should be dealt with by specialist lawyers. Let us guide you on how to make a Will, we advise you on:
- Appointing executors and trustees to deal with your assets
- What provisions you need to consider for your children
- The best structure for your Will so as to minimise the amount of Inheritance Tax that will be payable on your Estate
- What to do if you hold joint property or have a pension plan that pays death in service benefits
By making a Will it may be possible to reduce the amount of tax payable on the inheritance.
How do I make a Will?
We have a team of specialist lawyers who are able to help the process of making your Will as easy as possible.
- Contact us to arrange an appointment with a member of our specialist team to go through the details you wish to include in your Will.
- One of our specialist team members will contact you to make an appointment to go through the details you wish to include in your Will.
- Our team will produce a draft Will for you to review.
- Once the Will has been finalised we will arrange a convenient time for you to sign the Will.
Download our Client Care Procedure For Older And Vulnerable Clients document.
For further assistance please contact a member of the Wills, Trust & Probate team to arrange an appointment.