Without a doubt, a Will is one of the most important legal documents you will make in your lifetime.
Why Make a Will?
A Will is a legal document that allows you to state what should happen to your assets when you are no longer here. It also provides you with peace of mind knowing that your loved ones are taken care of.
How can a Will help?
Making a Will is essential if you want to be sure of leaving your property and possessions to your loved ones (known as Beneficiaries).
- A Will allows you to provide clarity on a whole range of practical matters.
- If you have children, it can say who should look after them if you died unexpectedly as named Guardians.
- You can name trusted individuals to handle the administrative side of dealing with your property and possessions.
- You can protect your assets for your family and future generations.
- A Will can include plans for residential care and tax planning.
What happens if I don’t have a Will?
If you die without a Will, the Rules of Intestacy decide who will receive your property and possessions. These rules were created back in 1925, so they don’t properly reflect today’s families and modern living arrangements.
On the positive side, the Rules of Intestacy aim to take care of spouses, civil partners and biological children. However, they don’t make provisions for unmarried partners, step-children, friends, pets and charities.
The Rules of Intestacy may result in your property and possessions being inherited by distant relatives, whom you don’t want to inherit, so you will be leaving your family’s future undecided. Without a Will, you will be unable to put plans in place for your children. What’s more, you won’t be able to provide for vulnerable beneficiaries, or have the opportunity to protect the value of your estate for loved ones in the future.
The importance of having a Will professionally written
Wills are important legal documents and a badly written or incorrectly worded Will can create even more problems than not having one at all. So, it’s important to seek the help and advice of professionals.
People continue to use DIY Packs and self-help books to write their Wills, but fail to take into consideration how a small mistake made now, could be far more costly for their family in the long run.
The importance of keeping a Will up to date
You may have already written a Will; perhaps when you bought your first house or when your children were young, or even before you were married?
However, as a lot may have changed since this Will was written, it may not properly reflect your wishes now. For example, you may now have grandchildren or some of the people mentioned in it may have since passed away or you may now have many more assets.
SO, it’s advisable to review your Will after every significant life change, to ensure it still reflects your wishes.
Life events such as marriage or divorce mean that parts of your existing Will (or even all of it) will automatically become invalid, meaning you will need to make a new Will.