With today’s complicated family relationships and sophisticated financial arrangements everyone should have a Will. It is surprising that only one third of the population have done so.
At Macks we believe that making a Will should be at the heart of ensuring your loved ones receive your money, home, possessions and investments (your Estate). There are many reasons for making a Will, including:
- To avoid the intestacy rules applying
If there is no Will, a set of legal rules dictate who receives your estate and the amount each person receives.
Your spouse may not receive all your Estate and may have to share with other members of your family.
The rules do not recognise unmarried couples, stepchildren, charities or friends. If you live together and have no Will your partner will receive nothing at all.
Children can only inherit at 18. You may think that this is too young or feel your children would be unable to handle receiving large sums of money. Your Will can specify a later date – 21 or 25 are typical preferences of clients.
The administration of your Estate can be more expensive and time-consuming.
- To indicate who is to receive your Estate
Only by having a Will can you make certain that your estate passes precisely how you wish and that your spouse or partner receives all your estate.
- To appoint Executors
A Will allows you to appoint the person(s) of your choice to administer your estate and carry out your wishes. If you have no Will you have no control over whom this will be.
- To appoint Guardians
If you have young children, a Will enables you to appoint the person(s) of your choice to decide how to look after their day-to-day needs. Without a Will your family may have to go to Court for authority to look after your children.
- To leave gifts to Charity or friends
Only by having a Will can you leave a gift to a charity or a friend. This can be a fixed sum of money, a specific item, a share in or your entire Estate.
- To leave a specific item or personal possession
You may have an item that is a family treasure passed down to you and you wish to prevent this from being sold and make certain it remains in your family.
- To protect a family business or nominate a successor
This is important to ensure continuity and avoid practical difficulties in running a business.
- To leave instructions regarding your funeral
In your Will you can specify whether you wish to be buried or cremated and leave directions as to the hymns, readings or music that you want at the funeral service.
- To exclude members of your family and avoid family disputes
You may have fallen out with your family or had no contact with them so wish to exclude them from receiving your Estate. By having a statement with your Will you can provide the reasons for doing this which can be considered by your family or the courts, should a dispute arise.
- To reduce the inheritance tax or nursing home fees
Your Will can be used as an important tool in mitigating your liability for inheritance tax, other taxes and nursing home fees.
- To give you and your loved ones peace of mind
By making a Will you have peace of mind knowing you have secured the future of your loved ones and made life easier for them.
What is the next step?
At MACKS we strongly recommend a face-to-face meeting in one of our offices or in your own home and at a time to suit you. This can be outside normal office hours if needs be.
One of our specialist Solicitors will be able to explain things in greater detail and provide a bespoke Will written to reflect your wishes and circumstances, both family and financial.