Why you should make a will
- To appoint the person/people you trust to be your executor(s)
- To appoint guardians for your children
Writing a will is especially important if you have children or other family who depend on you financially, or if you want to leave something to people outside your immediate family.
A will enables you to allocate your assets to the people you wish to receive them.
This can encompass almost anything from personal belongings, pets, property, prized record collection or stuffed Meerkats to a family heirloom.
A will helps to avoid unnecessary disputes amongst family members or relatives that can arise when a deceased person’s wishes are unclear or they die intestate.
Tax planning to reduce inheritance tax and care home fees
Writing a will ensures that the desired recipients of your assets gain access to them a lot more quickly than if there is no Will in place.
This means that they can use any money you have set aside for funeral costs or inheritance you have left them to pay for the funeral arrangements, without having to use their own money.
You can set out your wishes for your funeral within your Will, for example, whether you want to be buried or cremated, where you want the funeral to take place, and any specific hymns/songs or readings you would like included.
The distribution of your estate is controlled in a manageable way that you set out.
What happens if there is no will?
If there is no will in place i.e you die intestate, your assets and beneficiaries may be unprotected. Protection can be provided with the use of trusts.
Your estate will be shared out in a standard way defined by the Law (Law of intestacy) – which isn’t always the way you might want and may not be favourable to your partner/spouse and can cause financial hardship.
Examples of people who may lose out are: unmarried partners, friends, or step children as they are not provided for under the intestacy rules.
The courts will decide on a guardian for your children – this may not be the person who you would choose.
Inheritance Tax may be due on the estate
If I don’t make a will how will it affect those Left behind?
Not making a Will means that you would cause difficulties for those you leave behind, at a time which is already distressing.
Your next of kin may be unsure as to whether or not you have prepared a Will. They would have to spend time and money searching for one. Once they have established that there is no will they would normally apply to the court in an attempt to gain the power to deal with your estate. If a Will had been prepared this would not be necessary as they would simply apply for probate; a process that is far quicker and easier to complete.
If there is a delay accessing your assets, your next of kin may have to pay for funeral expenses from their own funds. There is also the possibility that they would have to pay inheritance tax before distribution of the assets of your estate; which often leads to financial hardship and even debt.
If you have children and you are a single parent, unless you have appointed guardians, your next of kin would need to deal with this through the courts, which is costly and time consuming.
When your next of kin reached the point where they had access to your estate, they would have to distribute according to the Laws of Intestacy.
When a will needs updating
- Divorce or Separation
- Change in financial circumstances
- Change in family circumstances / new relationship
Why use One Stop Finance?
All wills are drafted by specialist solicitors in this field with many years of experience between them.
All wills are tailor made to your needs and full succession planning advice will be given.
Competitive fees are charged on fixed fee basis.
Will Writing is not part of the Quilter Financial Planning offering and is offered in our own right. Quilter Financial Planning accept no responsibility for these aspects of our business.
For more information about Wills please contact us on 020 8441 2605 or 01442 232 272. Alternatively click here for our enquiry form.