Topics to be answered in this article
1. To control what happens when you die
A Will allows you to choose who will benefit and what they will get.
If you die without a Will, the intestacy rules will decide who benefits from your estate and this is not always who you would have thought or would have wanted to benefit.
You can even add in information about your funeral plans, whether you want to be cremated or buried.
2. To ensure your children are provided for financially
With a Will you can make plans to provide for their future financially. For example you may wish to consider setting up a trust for your children so you can control when your children receive the money and what it gets used for.
If you would like advice on setting up a trust, contact us.
Related reading: Learn more about the differences between a will and a trust.
3. To safeguard your family home
If you have property in your name, you can give them a right to reside or leave part of the property to them.
5. To protect your partner if you’re unmarried
No matter how long you’ve been with your partner, unmarried partners aren’t entitled to anything from your estate unless specifically stated in your Will. Writing a will ensures your partner will receive their fair share of your estate.
6. To name your children’s guardians
A Will allows you to nominate somebody of your choice to be the guardian of any of your children who are under 18 at the time of your death. It also makes sure it is not someone you do not want to raise your children.
7. To make gifts and donate
If you want to make gifts and donations these will need to be written into a Will. The intestacy rules are very strict, and the rules determine who inherits what based on family connections. The rules don’t take into account the closeness of your relationships, or who is most in need.
9. Decide who you would like to settle your affairs
Within your Will, you can name an executor who will be in charge of carrying out your final wishes. It’s also extremely important to consider making a Will if you have a business so you can ensure that it passes to those you want to take over the business.
If you don’t make a Will, you won’t have control over who will be the administrator of your estate.
Related reading: Know the difference between an attorney and an executor.
10. Caring for your pet/s
In your Will, you can make provisions for your pet/s.
11. Defining medical treatment
You can create a living Will to include your final wishes regarding medical treatment if you are too ill to communicate.
12. A Will can be amended at anytime
Ready to make your Will?
Tomorrow is not promised. Procrastination and the unwillingness to accept death as part of life are common reasons for not having a will. Sometimes the realisation that wills are necessary comes too late.
When should I review my Will?
These are the most common:
- Buying your first home
- Moving home
- A significant change in your financial situation, i.e inheriting money
- Starting / running a business
Holly is 27, she has one daughter from a previous relationship, and she is now married to Ben. Holly owns her house with Ben that is worth roughly £300,000 and has minimal savings. Holly would like to ensure that her whole estate is left to her daughter when she dies. As Holly does not have a will in place her estate would pass under the intestacy rules.
The intestacy rules state that the spouse will inherit the first £270,000 and then the reminder of the estate will be shared as follows: the husband will inherit half of the remainder and the other half is divided equally between the surviving children.
In Holly’s case it is unlikely that her daughter would receive anything as Holly’s estate would not exceed £270,000. Therefore, we would advise Holly that to ensure her daughter inherits she would need to put a will in place.
There are multiple options on how to leave gifts to children and if you would like to discuss these further please get in touch with one of our private client solicitors at Goughs.