Why Should I Make a Will?
Everyone should have a Will. Without one, you will die ‘intestate.’ This means that your estate will be passed to your nearest relatives – and not necessarily to those you would have preferred to inherit your assets.
And in the event that you have no relatives, the Government will get the lot.
Your Will is a legal document: a legal declaration of how you wish to dispose of your assets in the event of your death. A Will gives you control over what happens to your belongings, even after your death.
There are a number of reasons you may choose to write a Will, including:
- You can provide for your loved ones upon your passing
- You can minimise or avoid arguments between family members after your death
- It will give you peace of mind
- You can leave money to a charity, or other chosen organisations, upon your death
- It gives you control over your property and belongings, even after your death
- It can help to minimise, or even negate, the payment of inheritance tax
If you live in England or Wales (the law in Scotland is different), anyone over 18 years of age can make a will, as long as they are of sound mind. Subject to age and capacity issues, anyone can make a Will.
We have listed some of the “issues to consider” when making a will on the menu above.
Who should I leave my estate to?
The choice of who to leave your estate to is, ultimately, yours. It is, however, important for you to ask yourself the following questions:
- Who are your dependants? If you are financially supporting someone, for example a disabled child or a partner, it is important to ensure they are provided for upon your death.
- Do you have any specific items you wish to leave to anyone, such as sentimental pieces of jewellery, model collections or antiques?
- Do you wish to leave cash lump sums to specific individuals or charities?
- Do you own a share in any property?
These are important issues to bear in mind when thinking about who you would like to leave your assets to upon your death.
If you have children under the age of 18 years, you should also consider appointing a Guardian
You should be aware that, as part of your Will, you cannot give away property held in joint names with another person. If you own the property as ‘joint tenants’, the co-owner will inherit the property upon your death.