For some, the importance of making a Will can be overlooked, only thought about in the event of an upcoming holiday or ill health. Many have good intentions of making their Will but put it off in the midst of other distractions.
There are a number of reasons why making a Will is so important. These include:
- It is an opportunity to provide for what you want to happen on your death. In the absence of a valid Will, a set of legal rules, known as the Intestacy Rules apply. These Rules stipulate who will receive your assets and this is unlikely to be in accordance with your wishes. The effect of this could cause disagreements between the family members left behind and it can also complicate the administration of your estate.
- A Will can appoint legal guardians to care for your minor children. In addition, the Will can ensure that those guardians have access to your estate to maintain your children to the standard you would expect.
- When making a Will, it is a good opportunity to discuss the tax consequences of your death with your Solicitor. They will advise you of any tax that may be payable and consider options for mitigating this expense. A simple adjustment in your lifestyle or spending habits could dramatically reduce your exposure to inheritance tax.
- In an age of more complex family structures, your Will can be a helpful way to balance the needs and circumstances of all your beneficiaries. An example would be a second marriage where you have children from your first marriage and wish to benefit both under your Will. There are options available to provide for your new spouse whilst simultaneously protecting your estate for your children.
- In addition, a Will can provide for vulnerable beneficiaries such as disabled adults or children. It might be that they are unable to manage an outright monetary gift without help or support and your Will can put this structure in place for their ongoing benefit.
Whilst a Will can on the face of it seem simple and the temptation to write your own appealing, there are a number of pitfalls for the untrained eye. Unfortunately, the impact of those pitfalls often do not come to light until it is too late and this can easily complicate matters for those left behind.
It is also important to keep your Will under review from time to time. You should bear in mind the impact of important life events and consider updating your Will as your wishes change throughout life. Such events include births, deaths, divorce or separation, buying or selling a home and starting or selling a business to name a few.
If you would like to make a Will or review the terms of your existing Will, please contact your local office, or email email@example.com. Our team of experts provide outstanding advice in many areas of law including: conveyancing, wills, tax & probate, lasting powers of attorney, family law and litigation and disputes. For more information visit www.spiresolicitors.co.uk for all your legal needs.