Where There’s a (Valid) Will, There’s a Way

Writing a Will ensures your estate goes to your chosen beneficiaries after you die.

Where There’s a (Valid) Will, There’s a Way

If you die without a valid Will, it can be difficult for your family to sort out your affairs.

Most of us will have an idea of where we want our assets and possessions to end up once we die. Whilst it might be perfectly obvious to you that the kids share your savings, your partner gets the house and that under absolutely no circumstances should cousin Rita get the family jewels – a valid Will is the only way to guarantee such wishes are met.

If you die without a valid Will, it can be difficult for your family to sort out your affairs. Your estate will be shared out according to the rules of intestacy, whereby only married partners, registered civil partners and certain close relatives can inherit your estate.

In the case of no living family members, all of your property and possessions will go to the Crown. Even the staunch royalists amongst us may prefer to divvy up their assets amongst loved ones and favoured charities before handing over their entire estate to Charles.

What is a valid Will?

For a Will to be legally valid, the subject must be 18 or over and of sound mind. It must be made voluntarily and signed in the presence of 2 witnesses over the age of 18. A valid Will must also be signed by both witnesses.

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Where There’s a (Valid) Will, There’s a Way

A valid Will for peace of mind.

Noone likes to think about it, but death is the one certainty we all face. Planning ahead to guarantee our loved ones are taken care of once we’re gone provides peace of mind for all involved. Writing a Will allows you to:

Decide exactly how your assets are divided.

The law doesn’t recognise cohabitants as having the same rights as spouses or civil partners. Even if you’ve lived together for many years, your partner may be left with nothing. A Will makes sure the people in your life are provided for, no matter what your arrangement.

Avoid unnecessary tax.

Without a Will, your assets may be liable to Inheritance Tax laws that could otherwise be avoided. If you leave everything to your spouse or registered civil partner, there will be no Inheritance Tax to pay. Similarly, you may wish to use your tax free allowance to give some of your estate to a family trust or specified individuals. All of these details can be stipulated in your Will.

Set up a trust.

A Will allows you to set up a trust. Trusts are often used to protect property or assets when providing for children and/or vulnerable loved ones. Those you elect to look after the property in the trust are called trustees. Those who you elect to benefit from the property in the trust are called beneficiaries.

Writing a Will is particularly important if you:

  • Own property or a business
  • Have children
  • Are not a British citizen or your permanent home is not in the UK
  • Live here but you have overseas property
  • Have savings, investments or insurance policies

Passing on your estate

You can name people in your Will to carry out your wishes once you die. These individuals are called Executors. They will be responsible for tasks like arranging your funeral, collating your assets or distributing your estate to chosen beneficiaries. Once you’ve made your Will, it’s important to keep it in a safe place and tell your executor, close friend or relative where it is.

Review your Will every five years

The general advice is to review your Will every five years. Any major changes in your life, such as getting married, separated, having a child or moving house should also prompt a review. We appreciate that this entails a fair bit of admin, which is why we offer professional estate planning and straight talking advice. Chat with a member of our team today to get the ball rolling.

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