Wills and Estate Planning
If you die without a valid Will, you could hurt your family and loved ones. Here’s why:
1. This could be the cause of family disputes that literally last a lifetime.
They say that when people fall out over the estate of a close relative who has died, they fall out for life. Would you want your kids to never want to speak to each other for the rest of their lives, just because you didn’t take the trouble to have a Will? Having a Will helps avoid any family fights about your estate, and also determines the “who, what, and when” of your estate.
2. If you’re not married, your partner could lose everything.
Without a Will, unmarried partners aren't entitled to anything from your estate, no matter how long you've been together. Only having a Will can ensure your partner will receive their fair share of your estate.
3. You have no choice as to who will administer and distribute you estate.
With a Will, you can name an executor, or multiple executors, who will be in charge of carrying out your final wishes.
Choosing your executor in advance allows you to select the best person for the task. It also gives the executor prior warning so they can prepare themselves.
4. You have no control over who looks after your kids.
If you are a parent of young children and you don’t have a Will, you’ll have no control over who looks after them. In some situations, the courts will have to appoint someone - someone you may never have chosen, nor would you want them to take care of your children in the event of your death. In a Will, you can appoint the guardians of your choice who will look after your children.
5. Your children may not be provided for financially in the best way for them.
With a Will, you could set up a trust to provide for your children. This will give some control over when your children receive the money, and what it gets used for. This is particularly important for adult children who have disabilities or who are vulnerable, as if you died without a Will, they could, for example, lose their entitlement to receive DSS benefits or have access to money too easily and spend the money unwisely.
You may wish to consider setting up a trust to provide for your children, as this gives you an element of control over when your children receive the money, and what it gets used for.
6. You could end up paying Inheritance Tax that you never needed to pay.
With a Will, you can distribute your assets in such a way that any Inheritance Tax charges are minimised or even eliminated altogether. If you don't make a Will then your estate may have to pay Inheritance Tax. This could cause financial difficulties for your family and loved ones.
7. Your kids from a previous marriage may get nothing.
Without a Will, the intestacy rules could result in all marital assets being passed to your surviving spouse, with the children of your previous marriage getting nothing. This in effect produces a lottery, with the prize going to the children of the second spouse to die. For couples who have children from previous relationships, a trust can be used to ring-fence a part of the estate for those children.
8. Your pets may not be cared for.
If you have dogs, cats, or any other pets, they may need to be looked after if you pass away. Who will look after them? With a Will, you can choose someone to look after them, and put some money aside to feed them and take care of their health.
9. You will never be able to support your favourite charities after your death.
Being able to make gifts is a good reason to have a Will because it allows your legacy to live on and reflect your personal values and interests. If you support charities, you may wish them to benefit on your death. As well as supporting a good cause, you could potentially reduce the amount of inheritance tax paid by your family if you leave more than 10% of your assets to a good cause.
8. Your digital assets could be wiped out.
Nowadays, your assets won't just include money in the bank and physical goods. Digital accounts and online purchases, such as music, photographs, or websites, also form part of your possessions. They can disappear into the void if you don't provide for them in your Will.
Things like emails and social media accounts also form part of your legacy - do you want the information destroyed, protected, and do you need to make passwords available to your executor?
If you want to know more, why not take us up on our offer of the first free consultation? We have a wealth of experience and knowledge and would be happy discuss this in more detail with you?
All you need to do is pick up the phone and dial 0191 265 5003 to speak with a qualified solicitor.
Take care of those closest to you...
If you care about what happens to your family and loved ones after you die, you should make a Will. Without one, the State directs who inherits, so your friends, favourite charities and relatives may get nothing.
We all have such busy lives and it’s entirely understandable why writing your Will is just not a priority. So, why not be proactive and have this vital job done sooner rather than later?
Using the services of a member of the Society of Will Writers will help you ensure your wishes set out and that your loved ones will be taken care of in the event of your death.
There are some people who don’t think it’s necessary to have a Will and assume that everything will automatically pass to their spouse or children after their death. This is not necessarily the case as not leaving a Will can cause serious financial complications for your family and loved ones.
If you don't make a Will then on your death you will have died intestate. This means that your property and money will be divided according to the law and your wishes are not taken into account. This can be as painful as it sounds for your loved ones, who could suffer financial hardship and distress at a time when they least need it.
Take advantage of our offer of a FREE Will Review
0191 265 5003