Why do I need an UP TO DATE will?
- Government research has shown that only 1/3rd of the adults in the UK have made a Will. The remaining 2/3rds leave behind a legacy of cost, problems, family arguments and stress.
- When a person dies Intestate (without a valid Will), the distribution of their estate is governed by a set of legal rules known as the Intestacy rules. See our Intestacy Chart for more details.
- The Government Intestacy Rules are unlikely to be the way that you would want your estate to be distributed. Contesting the Government Intestacy Rules in a Probate Court will result in lengthy legal battles and costs to your family and beneficiaries, and very often with no satisfactory result.
Make a Will to plan and protect your Estate and Family
What is an Estate?
- Your estate is everything that you own, your money, property, land, possessions, car, business, financial plans such as pensions, life insurance, shares, investments etc. When you die it is your net estate (after Probate and after any debts, loans, mortgages and taxes are paid) that is passed to your beneficiaries.
- Examples include: Paying unnecessary taxes; divorce; the cost of long term care; your spouse or partner remarrying after your death; the government rules of intestacy (dying without a Will); losing mental capacity; creditors; your future beneficiaries becoming disabled, bankrupt, using illegal substances, alcohol dependant or spendthrifts etc.
- Note: Marriage, Re-marriage or creation of a Civil Partnership all destroy a Will, so if you have undertaken any of these since writing your Will, it needs to be re-written.
- Making a Will protects your family from the anxiety and expense of intestacy and ensures that your estate goes to the people that you want it to and removing the risk of depriving your spouse or partner of the family home.
- Parents of minor children should make Wills, so that they can appoint the Guardians of their choice to look after their minor children, rather than the Court of Protection and Social Services.
- It is very important for unmarried couples to make Wills as an unmarried person is quite likely to receive nothing if their partner dies intestate, regardless of how long they have lived together or whether they have children.
- Making a Will ensures that you appoint the executors of your choice, someone that you trust to carry out your wishes after your death, and to ensure that your beneficiaries receive all that you intended them to. An executor should be willing to take on the role for you. Most people tend to appoint beneficiaries and family members as their executors.
- Who do you want to inherit your estate and in what shares?
- Sentimental items, who would value them the most?
- Who would you want to leave monetary gifts to?
- Who will look after them? Will you leave any provision for them?
- Do you want to ensure that your share of the property will eventually go to your children regardless of what may happen in the future (i.e. mental health issues, remarriage)?
- Do you wish to donate organs or your entire body for medical research purposes?
- Cremation, burial, religious ceremonies, music, flowers, hymns. Why don’t you choose what you would like?
- Often requested instead of flowers at the funeral, which charities do you prefer?
- Will your estate have to pay unnecessary taxes?
- Where should you keep your Will be kept after it has been signed and witnessed, how safe would it be at home from risks such as burglary, fire, flood, loss, accidental or malicious damage.
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