People often put off making a Will but there are lots of reasons why you should prioritise making one. Here Kate Cashmore from Redkite Law discusses some of the benefits to having a Will in place.
- It allows you to ensure your assets pass to who you want them to go to
Having a Will in place is the only way to ensure your family and friends benefit in the way you would like them to. If you do not have a Will in place the rules of intestacy apply. These do not reflect modern relationships and do not provide for unmarried partners or stepchildren to inherit. The intestacy rules also cap the amount passing to a spouse at £270,000 which is often insufficient given house prices.
- A Will means you can name who you would like to look after your children
If you die leaving young children and there is no-one who has parental responsibility for them it is up to the court to decide who will care for your children. This is a stressful and often complex process and you will have no control over who the court appoints. By making a Will you can name who you would like to be the legal guardian of your children and care for them.
- It allows you to balance the needs of everyone in a blended family
Making a Will with a blended family can seem overwhelming but it is especially important. Your solicitor will have experience with blended families and there are lots of suggestions we can make to help you protect all family members. One of the things we often recommend is the use of trusts which allow the surviving partner or spouse to live in the property for their lifetime but means your shares will pass to your respective children when you have both passed away.
- You can name who you would like to administer your estate
The people who administer your estate are called executors. They are responsible for obtaining probate to your estate, arranging your funeral and dealing with any assets and liabilities including closing down bank accounts and dealing with any property you have. The role can become very involved and it is wise to give some thought as to who is best placed to do this for you.
- You may be able to reduce the amount of inheritance tax due
The inheritance tax allowance is £325,000 and there is an additional allowance of £175,000 if you leave property to a qualifying beneficiary. A solicitor can advise you how to draft your Will to ensure the maximum inheritance tax savings are achieved.
Making a Will is often simpler and cheaper than people first expect but the results are invaluable. If you would like to arrange an appointment with us please call us on 01453 763433.