It can be easy to assume that making a Last Will and Testament is something you don’t need to worry about until the later stages of your life. You may not even be considering writing a Will at all.
However, a Will is crucial for ensuring appropriate financial provision for your family in the event of your passing, as well as making sure that your property and assets are safeguarded. For that reason alone, it’s something that’s wiser to do sooner rather than later, so you can be sure that your wishes and legacy are carried out, and that your spouse, civil partner and loved ones are properly cared for.
There are a number of compelling reasons for you to make a Will. A few key examples include:
Above all, a properly drawn up Will gives you real peace of mind – allowing you to make provisions for your partner and family, and rest assured that your wishes will be carried out to the letter.
Without a Will, your assets – including your personal possessions, cash, bank accounts, investments, pensions, and property – will all default to the rules of Intestacy.
Intestacy law essentially lays out a set of standard rules used to divide the Estate of a person who has died without leaving a valid Will. It allows for your Estate to be passed onto your spouse and blood relations. In England and Wales, this includes your spouse, any children (including those who were legally adopted), siblings (including any half siblings who share a parent with you), as well as your parents, grandparents, and uncles or aunts (whether full blood or half blood).
Intestacy requires an Administrator to act on behalf of your estate, and may require a ‘Letter of Administration’ to act as legal proof that they have the right to deal with the Estate.
It’s worth noting that intestacy is not necessarily the most desirable option for the deceased or their families, as it doesn’t legally recognise step children. It also sets stricter requirements for unmarried cohabitees than for surviving spouses, making them less likely to become Beneficiaries of an Estate divided under Intestacy. It also does not always distribute assets in the most tax efficient way.
Some of the possible consequences of intestacy include instances where your Estate may even pass to someone who you wouldn’t knowingly choose to inherit your assets. Conversely, someone who you would have wished to benefit from part of your estate, such as an unmarried partner, may get nothing unless a Will has been put in place. In some circumstances, these factors can even cause financial hardship and distress for certain loved ones left behind.
A properly drafted Will by our specialist probate Solicitors can ensure that your wishes are honoured to the letter, and that the loved ones you wish to provide for are named as beneficiaries of your Estate.
A Will drawn up by a qualified Solicitor can identify your chosen Beneficiaries in a way that is crystal clear in the eyes of the law.
Second marriages are one example of situations that can present unique inheritance dilemmas for spouses and children alike. In cases like these, you should always seek advice from a Solicitor.
We also recommend consulting a Solicitor in cases that involve more complicated assets, such as businesses, overseas properties, or multiple investments like bonds, pensions, ISAs or stocks.
The key reasons for this is that only known assets will be divided when your Estate is apportioned to your Beneficiaries. If any of your assets are omitted, it may well be difficult for your Beneficiaries to claim them.
Our Estate Planning Service here at Farleys has been devised for these sorts of cases. During these, we’ll go through all of your assets and intended Beneficiaries, and will tailor an inheritance solution that works for you.
We can also provide specific advice on the most efficient way to handle Inheritance Tax through the provisions in your Will.
A ‘Do It Yourself’ Will is the term sometimes used to refer to generic, cookie-cutter Wills that can be downloaded off the Internet for apparently bargain prices. However, more often than not these Wills can create far more problems than they solve.
Some of their potential (and frequent) flaws includes:
Failure to meet formal requirements is one of the most common reasons a DIY Will can be invalidated, as well as a lack of rules relating to dependents.
For these reasons alone, it’s vital to ensure that your Will is properly prepared and updated accordingly by a professional Wills and Probate Solicitor. This will keep and confusion and disputes to a minimum, and can ensure that your wishes are properly carried out in the event of your passing.
We are a team of authorised and regulated Solicitors here at Farleys Solicitors LLP, which means we can provide expert advice on the best course of action for your individual circumstances, as well as the best ways to divide your assets between your chosen family or loved ones.
We hold these conversations with you in the strictest confidence.
Farleys Solicitors LLP is a friendly, trusted, and straight-talking local firm with over 50 years of experience in serving clients in Accrington and the wider North West area. Our probate Solicitors draw upon a wealth of knowledge and industry-specific expertise in order to answer all of your most pressing questions regarding Wills, Trust and Probate.
At Farleys Solicitors, we know that every situation is unique. That’s why, in addition to advising you on the best course of action, we also tailor our services to meet your specific needs. We may even choose to take your case on a no-win, no-fee basis.
If you need to speak with one of our specialist personal injury Solicitors about any of our services, feel free to give us a call on 0845 050 1958, contact us using the online chat feature on our website, or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re here to help
When a person doesn’t leave a Will, their estate must be divided according to a strict set of rules, called ‘intestacy’ whereby only m...Read More
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