Approximately 60,000 estates each year are “intestate’, i.e. where no valid Will is in place – almost 25% of the annual total. Making a Will will stop your heirs from joining this number and ensures that your wishes are carried out when it comes to who inherits what.
Making a Will
1. A Will lets you leave clear instructions about how your estate is to be distributed. Without a Will it is subject to the Intestacy Rules and may not go to the people that you would have chosen;
2. A Will lets you choose your own Executors. If you die without a Will, your closest relatives will need to apply for Letters of Administration and there can be a delay before they are authorised to deal with your estate;
3. A Will lets you appoint Guardians to look after your children if they are under 18, until they come of age. You can also make financial arrangements for their benefit;
4. A Will allows you to make specific bequests to individuals. These can range from items of jewellery to sums of cash;
5. If you have remarried, a Will can ensure any children from your first marriage will receive a share of your estate.
Not making a Will
6. Unmarried partners may not receive anything from your estate, unless you have made a Will in their favour;
7. If your estate is divided according to the Intestacy Rules, your spouse or civil partner may not receive as much as you would have intended them to;
8. If you die without leaving a Will and have no spouse or children, your parents or siblings may inherit your estate, even if you would prefer it to go elsewhere;
9. The absence of a Will can sometimes lead to family disputes;
10. Without a Will, your family could face a larger inheritance tax bill than necessary as writing a Will can help with the tax planning process.
For more information or to enquire about our competitive rates for drafting wills, please do not hesitate to contact us.
By Phil Taylor, Wills Trusts and Probate Solicitor, Blackburn