Whether you are single, cohabiting, married or a parent, it is really important that you have a Will to control what happens to your estate after your death. This ensures that your wishes are honoured and that your loved ones can be provided for. No matter how small you consider your estate to be, a Will is really important. A Will determines where your possessions (such as your car, company pension, home and other personal effects) will be distributed should the worse happen. You can review your Will in the future as your personal circumstances change. Without a Will, your dependants may be left with the distress of coping with the difficult grieving process at the same time as the complicated legal issues surrounding the lack of a Will. Without a valid Will, your dependants can be left with a tax bill that they may not be able to pay. Our specialist solicitors can compile a Will that is specific to your own circumstances to make sure that your wishes and correctly and legally documented.
Why do I need a Will?
It is important to make a Will because:
- Should you die without a Will then certain rules dictate how the money, property and possessions will be allocated. This may not be the way you would wish your money and possessions to be distributed. The rules of intestacy govern who can inherit assets where there is no Will. Simply put the rules mean that the married or civil partner will inherit the first £250,000 of the estate and half of the remaining estate together with all the personal property of the deceased where there are dependant children. The children will only be able to inherit half of the value of the estate over £250,000, divided equally among all children.
- Unmarried partners and partners who have not registered a civil partnership cannot inherit from each other unless you have made a Will. If one of you dies this could cause serious financial complications. Unmarried couples can jointly own their homes and if they are beneficial to joint tenants at the time of one of their deaths then the other inherits their partners share. If they are tenants in common then the other partner does not automatically inherit the other’s share
- If you have children you need to make a Will so that you can protect your wishes for their future care. You may need to name a Guardian(s) for your children in the event of your death or death of both parents.
- It may be possible to reduce the amount of tax payable on the inheritance if advice is taken in advance and a Will made.
Remember to keep your Will up to date and consider any changes to your circumstances, such as separation, divorce, additional children or a lack of mental capacity. We would recommend you review your Will once every five years or if there are significant changes in your circumstances.
Be aware that marriage automatically revokes a Will, therefore, if you are entering or have entered a second marriage and have previously made a Will leaving your estate to your children then this Will is automatically revoked and your partner would then inherit. We can assist you to ensure your estate goes to the beneficiaries you wish to benefit.
A scary thought for some is that divorce does not automatically revoke a Will! So, if you are getting divorced (or have been previously divorced) or are separated from your partner then ensure that your Will is correctly updated so that your ex-spouse does not inherit your estate.
Contact our Wills, Trust and Probate Solicitors, Alderley Edge, Cheshire
No one wants to think about leaving our family and saying goodbye to loved ones but it is highly recommended to ensure that you have a valid Will detailing your wishes. This ensures that you are happy with how your possessions will be distributed and can remove additional stresses on your loved ones during an emotionally difficult period. Don’t put off making a Will, do it today! Our expert Wills, Trusts & Probate Solicitors can help draw up a Will that is completely personal to your needs.
Call now on 01625 460 281 for a no-obligation consultation from one of our expert lawyers. Alternatively, you can complete our online enquiry form.