Why make a Will?
Why make a Will?
MAKING A WILL is the only way to ensure that your wishes are carried out after your death. If you die without making a Will, the consequences could be a lot more serious than you think:
- Your next of kin sometimes won’t know if you have made a Will or not, and will spend time searching for one.
- When they don’t find your Will, they’ll then have to apply to the courts for the power to deal with your estate (assuming it’s worth more than £5,000). This takes a lot longer than the simple process of ‘Applying for Probate’ when you have written a Will.
- In the meanwhile, they’ll have to pay your funeral expenses and (in almost all cases, due to the significant extra delay) pay any Inheritance tax due BEFORE they’ve gained access to your Estate/money (due date is six months after the end of the month in which the death occurred and interest is charged on late payments).
- If you have any children (under 18) and haven’t appointed Guardians (and their mother/father isn’t alive), your next of kin will have to sort this out as well.
- When they finally have access to all of your Estate, it is distributed according to the Laws of Intestacy which in most cases will not be what you want – and any special gifts you wanted to make will be ignored.
During this time your beneficiaries may not be able to draw any money from your estate. It can mean arguments and distress for relatives. Making a Will lets your loved ones know that you cared enough to ‘sort things out’ in advance.
IF YOU are a single person you will want your estate divided amongst relatives, friends and charities of your choosing and in the proportions you want.
IF YOU are married, don’t assume ‘my other half will get everything’. Brothers and sisters or parents may have a claim. Often your children have a right to part of your estate. If you are living as a couple but not officially married, you may be treated as a single person and a surviving partner may get nothing at all. One thing you can be certain of – there will be argument and dispute at a time when the family should be coping with the loss of a loved one.
IF YOU are a parent, you should consider who would look after your children in the event of your death. This is particularly important in the case of one-parent families or unmarried parents living together. A valid Will nominating guardians is invaluable in such cases. If no one knows what you would have wanted, the Court will decide on the future of your children, and it may not be what you would have wished.
IF YOU are retired maybe you made a Will a long time ago. It probably needs updating to include additional grandchildren or deletion of persons you no longer feel you wish to leave anything to.
A Will brings security, reassurance and above all peace of mind – not just for you, but for all those who depend on you, either now or in the future. For more information on your Will, call us FREE on 0800 255 0123 or [click here] for one of our advisers to contact you.