Most people in the UK don’t have a Will in fact 70% of the UK population does not have a Will that reflects their personal circumstances, financial situation and final wishes on how they would like to dispose of their property. Those who do have a Will often forget to keep them up to date. Making a will and keeping it updated can help protect your loved ones after you die, and ensure your estate is dealt with in the way you choose.
Think you don’t need Will because you’re broke? Not true.
The reason to make a will is to control how your estate is divided, this isn't just about money. Your will is also the document in which you appoint guardians to look after your children or your dependents. In England and Wales, if you die with no valid Will in place, then the law decides who inherits everything you own under strict inheritance rules.
Some of the reasons you should make a Will:
- Ensure your money and or property go to the people you choose.
- To appoint a guardian to care for your children if both parents die.
- To make sure that your children inherit from you even if your spouse re-marries or goes into care.
- To plan your estate to save inheritance tax.
- Gift to a charity.
- Ensure a provision for a disabled or vulnerable person in a way that will not affect their benefits and will not put them at risk.
- If you are living with someone but are not married, you can make sure they are able to stay in your house if you die and receive whatever inheritance you want them to have.
Having a will can provide you with peace of mind, knowing that your assets will be distributed as you wish when you are no longer here.
Why do I need to update my will?
During anyone’s life things change and so does your circumstances. If you get married, this invalidates any previous Will you may have made, in this case you will need to make a new Will. Similarly, if you have more children, you may need to write them into a new Will to prevent future disputes.
If you have children from any previous marriages or relationships, an up-to-date Will is absolutely essential to avoid conflicts between your different families.
What happens if you die without a will?
When a person dies, they leave behind an ‘estate’ – that’s all their money, property, estate and assets. Normally, a will states:
- Who will inherit the estate, and how much will each person get
- Whose job it is to sort out the estate
- Who should take care of kids under 18, and pets
If someone dies without a will, or their will is invalid, it’s up to certain laws and sometimes, a family court to decide these things.
Using a solicitor
You can make your will yourself, but you should only consider this if your will is straightforward. If you do make your own will, you should still get a solicitor to check it over. The simple fact is, a will is a legal document and if it is drafted incorrectly it could cost a lot to put right any errors. You really should ensure a qualified solicitor drafts it for you to avoid future problems.
It’s important to use a solicitor when:
- you share a property with someone who your not married to or in a civil partner
- If you have a dependent, such as a child, who cannot care for themselves
- several family members may make a claim on the will
- you own properties overseas or a business
- your permanent home is not in the UK
Let GloverPriest ensure that it is you rather than others that dictates how your money, property or possessions should be allocated.