6 powerful reasons you should make a will now

Making a will is something most of us put off – we don’t like to think about our own deaths.

The problem is, though, that we do need to think about the future. We need to ensure our relatives and friends get the legacies we would like them to receive, and to make things as simple as possible for them in a distressing time.

It’s also important that our wishes are clear, helping them to avoid potential conflict about matters like our funerals, who should receive part of our estates, and what should happen to our business interests.

Here are six powerful reasons you should make a will:

  1. If you die without a will, you’ll have no say in how your estate is divided.

Those who die without a will are deemed to be ‘intestate’ and their estates are divided up in a pre-determined way. There’s no guarantee the people you want to benefit will do so. Even if you’re married or in a civil partnership, your spouse will not automatically inherit. Your estate may also not be divided in the most tax-efficient way, hitting the size of the legacies you would like to leave.

  1. There could be serious complications for any business interests.

If you die without a will, who will inherit any business interests you have and how would that impact on any business partners? If you want your share of a business to be sold to your partner for example, rather than run by relative, you need to stipulate that in a will.

  1. Have you thought about what will happen to any social media accounts?

This could be a bone of contention for your loved ones. Some may wish to see them closed down, while others want to keep them available to be seen by the public. Making your wishes known in a will is a good way of avoiding potential conflict after your death.

  1. Your circumstances have changed and you need to update your will.

You may have married, had children or grandchildren, divorced, bought or sold property, started a business, or taken out pensions or life insurance. People’s circumstances change, and their wills need to be updated to reflect that. If you marry or enter a civil partnership, your will is automatically cancelled. You need to ensure your children and partner are provided for, and your wishes about your property are clear. If you’re a single parent, you also need to think about who will look after your children.

  1. You may have business or residential interests outside England and Wales – or have been born there.

This could have big implications for your tax affairs and the administration of your estate. You need a solicitor to give you the best advice to ensure you leave the best legacy possible for your loved ones.

  1. You can stipulate what should happen at your funeral.

This could help take a great burden off your friends and family at a distressing time. Knowing whether you want to be buried or cremated and what sort of service you’d like will help them plan a fitting goodbye. You could even take out a funeral plan and arrange matters yourself.

So why should you use a solicitor to draw up your will?

There are potential problems with wills. If you make your own, it could be unclear or you could include mistakes. That could make your will invalid.

If you plan on leaving legacies to a number of people and have complicated finances, getting a trained solicitor involved is even more important.

They’ll help you list your estate – including property, shares, pensions, business interests – and write a clear will which divides things as you’d like.

They’ll also encourage you to think about issues like what happens if beneficiaries die before you do and who will carry out your wishes.

If you’d like our help in drawing up your will, please contact us today.

 

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