Everyone should have a Will, and here are some of the most important reasons why:
You decide who gets what.
Without a Will, you have no say in the matter, the State has already decided who will inherit all your money and worldly possessions in accordance with the strict Rules of Intestacy.
You may be surprised to learn that your spouse or civil partner may not inherit everything automatically, other relatives may be entitled to a share.
If you are cohabiting, your partner won’t get a single penny.
If you have remarried, any children from your previous relationships could miss out entirely.
If you are separated, your ex could inherit the lot even if you are cohabiting with a new partner with whom you have children.
The only way to ensure that your loved ones get what you want them to have is to write a Will.
You will save your loved ones months, if not years, of financial hardship and expense.
Just imagine the mess that not writing a Will could leave your loved ones to sort out along with the heartbreak, stress and considerable cost that would entail.
If you die without a Will and your estate is distributed in accordance with the Rules of Intestacy, not only may your relatives be entitled to a share, but your spouse or partner could be forced to sell the family home to pay these unintended inheritances.
A long term cohabiting partner won’t get a penny without bringing a Court case to make a claim on your estate. Nor, if you have remarried, might any children from a previous relationship.
Writing a Will protects and provides for those you care about most.
You can avoid Social Services taking your children into care.
When you write your Will, you can appoint guardians to look after your children if, when you die, you are the last person with parental responsibility for them. If guardians have not been appointed, Social Services will take your children into care until the Court appoints official guardians. These may not be who you would want to look after your children.
You can protect your home from having to be sold to pay care home fees.
At least 20,000 pensioners are forced to sell their homes every year to pay the huge costs of residential care, denying their children an inheritance. If you have assets of more than £23,250 (including the family home), you have to pay the full cost of residential care. Once you have sold the family home and care home fees have reduced your assets to £23,250, you still have to pay a proportion of the cost until all you are left with is just £14,250. Don’t let this happen to you. A Home Protection Trust can safeguard your home and retain your children’s inheritance.
You can provide for a disabled child or relative without jeopardising their benefits.
A Disabled Person’s Trust ensures that beneficiaries with learning or physical disabilities receive their share of an inheritance while protecting them from unscrupulous exploitation. Furthermore, the disabled person will not lose any of the social security local authority benefits for which they are eligible and the Trust receives favourable tax treatment.
You can leave more for your loved ones and less for the taxman.
A well drafted Will gives you the opportunity to minimise any Inheritance Tax (IHT) that may be levied on your estate. This is particularly important if you have substantial assets or own a business or agricultural property and for unmarried partners who can maximise not only the use of both IHT thresholds, but can also minimise IHT on the remainder of their respective estates.
That’s six good reasons, there are many more – you can leave your treasured possessions to those who would appreciate them; you can leave money legacies to friends, relatives and charities; you can provide for your pets; you can say what sort of funeral you want; and much more. Writing a Will puts you in control.