Many people make the mistake of thinking that they don’t really need a Will. This is because they believe that the intestacy rules will give the same result as a Will. However, that’s often not the case. Here’s some reasons why you should consider making a Will.
1. You decide who will inherit from your estate. Without a Will your children may inherit money at an early age or, even worse, relatives you don’t like!
2. Your Will can decide who will take care of your minor children. Without a Will the Court will need to decide. You can also give the guardians some instructions as to how you would like your child brought up.
3. It makes probate simpler. All estates need to go through ‘probate’ – the process of administering your estate after you die. A Will makes it clear what your wishes are so that the probate process is shortened – saving your family time, hassle and money.
4. Plan for Inheritance Tax. A well structured Will can plan for Inheritance Tax and could ultimately save your family thousands in tax. Inheritance tax is 40% and so it can take a significant amount of any estate.
5. You can appoint your executors. Your Will states who you want as your executors – the people who make sure your affairs are in order. You can choose people who you trust and are sensible enough to do things properly. You can even choose different executors for different parts of your Estate. For example, a business could choose another director to look after just the business interests, or a writer could choose their literary agent to deal with their book rights.
6. Avoid legal issues and uncertainty. Although a Will is no guarantee that there won’t be a legal challenge it is a clear instruction of what your wishes are.
7. Make gifts and donations. A Will allows you to leave certain assets to individuals. You may wish for an item of jewellery to go to a particular person or your prized record collection.
8. You can state your funeral wishes. Although these are not legally binding it can be helpful for your family to know any particular requests you may have.
9. You can make plans for your pets. People often worry what will happen to their pets. Your Will can document your wishes and provide the funds to allow someone to care for your pet.
10. You can leave a legacy to your favourite charities. Many people would like a charity to benefit after they die. Your Will can make these wishes clear.
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