There are many misconceptions when it comes to making a Will, as well as a lot of commonly-asked questions, such as: Do I need a Will? How do you create a Will? How does a Will work?
However, the following is a list of simple reasons why you should have a Will:
- A Will lets you determine who will inherit everything that you own (“your estate”).
If you don’t make a Will you will die “Intestate” and will not be able to choose who inherits your estate. The Rules of Intestacy, which date back to 1925, will determine what happens to your assets. Unmarried partners, friends, step-children or charities will not benefit from you estate unless you name them in your Will.
- You can appoint people you trust as your Executors to deal with your estate after you’ve gone.
By appointing Executors you prevent uncertainty and worry amongst your family after your death as, if you die without a Will, administrators can be appointed on a “first come first serve” basis. You may leave a very valuable estate and it is natural that you would wish your Executors to be individuals that you trust and are capable of dealing with the task in hand.
- You can name Guardians to look after your children.
If you have children under 18 you can use your Will to appoint Guardians to look after them if you die while they are still underage. You can make sure that there is no need for the Courts to get involved in what would already be an extremely distressing time for your children and ensure the Guardians you appoint share the same values as you do.
- You can consider Inheritance Tax (IHT) planning so that you don’t pay any more tax than you have to.
Having a Will professionally drafted means that you can be advised where exemptions and reliefs from IHT may be available to your estate and your Will can be drafted accordingly. New (and very complex) IHT reliefs on residential property come into force on 6 April 2017 and now is an excellent time to seek professional advice about IHT planning in your Will.
- You can set out exactly what will happen at your funeral.
In your Will you can give clear instructions for your Executors, from simply stating whether you wish to be buried or cremated, to what music is to be played or the content of the service. These wishes can be as brief or elaborate as you like and if needs be can be outlined in a separate “Letter of Wishes”.
- Having a Will gives you peace of mind.
Writing a Will is sometimes considered a morbid exercise as it brings us face to face with our own mortality. It is also a highly unselfish act as it is guaranteed that you will not be around to see the benefits of having made a well-drafted Will! It is for this reason that many people put off making a Will and unfortunately never get round to doing it. However, once your Will is completed you will have the peace of mind that your affairs are in order and your loved ones will be taken care of. This means that you can stop worrying and get on with enjoying your life!
Colleagues in Thursfields’ Wills & Estates Department have a wealth of experience in Will writing and IHT planning. Every Will we write is different and is tailor-made to your individual circumstances.
For more information please contact Edward Jones on 0121 624 4000.