Why Should you make a Will?

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It all goes to your family – doesn’t it? Not necessarily and this is a common misconception.

Almost 60% of adults in the UK have not made a Will and this can lead to family disputes and even court cases.

There are many myths and fallacies surrounding Will making and it may be helpful to discuss these here.

  1. If I make a Will, I am tempting fate and I am more likely to die

We can safely say that that our clients do not expire shortly after completing their Wills. We realise that thinking about your own mortality can be stressful and we make the Will writing service relaxed and comfortable so that you can give serious thought to your wishes.

  1. I’m married so I do not need to make a Will as my spouse will get everything

Not necessarily true. If you do not make a Will then your estate is distributed in accordance with the Intestacy Rules. Your spouse will receive any joint assets which pass by survivorship but sole assets will be distributed between your spouse, issue and wider family depending on your assets and family structure. It is best to make a Will to make sure your money goes to those you intend to benefit.

  1. Homemade Wills are just as good as professionally drafted ones

Sometimes that is true but we have seen many cases where the Will has not been properly executed or drafted and it has cost much more to sort out post death than the cost of the Will.

  1. The government will take my money if I die without a Will

If you die without a Will and you have no immediately obvious relatives then the estate is referred to the Bona Vacancia department. Genealogist companies then search for any relatives and if none can be found then the Crown would receive your estate. It is always best to make a Will where you have a no family or a small family as you may wish friends or charities to benefit. The costs of tracing family members can sometimes use up a higher than expected proportion of the estate.

  1. If I die my children will be looked after by my spouse

This depends on who has parental responsibility for the child. It is much better to have a Will which specifically deal with guardians so you can be reassured that your children will be looked after.

These are just a few of the common myths that are raised with us. We recommend every client has a professionally drawn Will to deal with the issues raised above but also think about:

  • Who should be executors – is the person entitled under an Intestacy the best placed to deal with your You choose executors who will sort out the will meaning there may be less likelihood of disputes and ensuring capable and trustworthy persons are in charge of administering your estate.
  • What about your business assets? Is it appropriate for them to go to the person designated under the Intestacy Rules? A Will gives you the opportunity to separate business and personal assets, if appropriate.
  • Avoid claims against your estate. People have blended and second families; or they have people that they support financially who ought to be provided for under a Will. If the Intestacy Rules kick in those people who may not be entitled under The Intestacy Rules may have no choice but to make a claim.
  • Do you need a trust for a vulnerable or disabled beneficiary? Sometimes it is not a good idea to leave money to people outright.  You may want to put protection in place for them.
  • Have you thought about what happens in extreme or unexpected circumstances where your immediate family does not survive you? Where would you like your money to go then?   Perhaps charities or friends rather than distant relatives?

Getting your Will drawn up professionally ensures it is properly executed and valid and also means you get professional advice and up to date inheritance tax information, helping you maximise the assets that actually pass to your chosen beneficiaries. Please contact Esther Janalli-Brown on 01306 884432 or email ejbrown@meaby.co.uk for more information.