Making a Will seems to be the job that never quite makes it to the top of the to-do list for many people. There are, however, some important reasons why it should!
Firstly – the ability to choose who inherits your assets. If you die intestate (without a Will) the statutory Intestacy Rules determine who inherits your estate – and this might not be in accordance with your wishes. Whilst your spouse/civil partner is the first person who inherits, they might not necessarily inherit everything. Importantly, unmarried couples have no automatic right to benefit from each other’s estates under the Intestacy Rules. If you leave no surviving blood relatives your estate would pass to the Crown.
Secondly – care of your children. Guardians for minor children can be appointed in your Wills. Should the worst occur and you and your partner both die whilst your children are under the age of 18, having Wills appointing a Guardian for them can give you peace of mind that someone you’ve nominated will have legal responsibility for them. Where a Guardian is not appointed, it will be up to the court to choose who will care for your children; this means that your children could end up in foster care whilst a decision is being made.
If your circumstances are not straightforward, making a Will can also allow for your estate to be dealt with in a manner that minimises (or even eliminates) any Inheritance Tax liability that would otherwise be due.
Above all, making a Will gives you peace of mind that you have control over your family’s circumstances and that your wishes will be accurately reflected.
I realise that it’s too early to appeal to anyone’s New Year resolutions just yet, but please, please do consider making (or reviewing) your Will. I’m happy to discuss any aspect of making – or reviewing – a Will with Mumblers and can be reached by phone on 01603 724688 and by email at email@example.com. For your information, we charge £325 + VAT for ‘mirror’ Wills (ie wife/husband) and £225 + VAT for a single Will.