Statistics suggest that more than 70 per cent of people in the UK don’t have a Will and this can cause significant problems for family members and loved ones when they die.
It is therefore important to consider the benefits of making a Will. First and foremost, a Will ensures that your wishes are taken into account. You can decide before you die who you would like to benefit from your Will and exclude anyone you do not wish to inherit anything. If you die without leaving a Will, which is called dying intestate, this means that the law decides who benefits from your estate.
A Will is not just for people who are rich and who have lots of assets either, it is important to leave a Will and be clear about who should inherit as this avoids any unnecessary upset.
In addition to a Will, you may decide that you would like to set up one or more trusts from your estate. This has the added advantage of being more tax efficient than just leaving an amount in your Will. You do need to understand the tax implications of any trusts you set up though.
Once you have made the decision to make a Will, there are a number of considerations to think about before you come to us to draft it for you.
First and foremost, you should decide who you would like to inherit from your Will. If you are married and have children, this is usually straightforward, however, this may not be for everyone and we can accommodate any requests or circumstances.
If you do have children, a Will can offer protection to them if anything happens to you and your spouse or partner by allowing you to decide who should be their legal guardian. Where there is no Will in place, a court will decide who they think should look after your children, and this could mean they make a choice you simply wouldn’t support. In addition, it could be necessary for your children to go into care whilst this decision is being made.
You may decide to explain any significant exclusions from your Will as this may help to avoid any fallout from your Will after you die. Some family divides are bitter and permanent following Will disputes.
You can gain inheritance tax relief for donations to charity which amount to more than 10 per cent of your estate so this may be something you wish to stipulate in your Will.
Making a Will if you are in a civil partnership or co-habiting with your partner is critical, as if you die without one your life partner will not inherit anything under current laws.
Once you have decided who you would like to nominate in your Will and any other stipulations you want to make, VLCW will help to put together a Will for you.
You may be aware of ‘Do It Yourself’ Wills, which are cheap and available in local shops, however a Will is a legal document and if you do complete a ‘DIY’ Will and there is the simplest of mistakes, your family may find that your Will is invalid and they may suffer as a result. You wouldn’t fix your boiler yourself if it was broken, you would get a professional to do it for you, and your Will should be no different.
Once your Will is completed, you will be given the original and several copies. It is important to tell your family where your Will is located because if you have a Will but no one can find it, then it is no different than not having a Will at all!
In addition, as the years go by you should regularly update your Will, particularly after big life events such as marriage or divorce as this will have an impact on who will benefits from your estate.
If you would like to know more about making a Will or trust or if you have a Will that needs updating, please do call us on 020 7490 5861 and one of experience team will be there to discuss your needs.
Alternatively, if you would rather email us, please do on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be in touch shortly.