You are never too young to make your Will. If there are people in your life who you care for, making a will is the only way to ensure they are taken care of in the way you would have wanted in the event of your death. Making a Will ensures that the right things go to the right people. It means you decide who looks after your young children and allows you to choose who sorts out your affairs after you’ve gone. It also has the potential to reduce the amount of inheritance tax you might have to pay. It can help avoid family squabbles. A Will saves everyone a lot of worry and at such a difficult time, it makes life easier for those who are left behind to manage your affairs.
There are many reasons why you should make or review a Will. Some include:
- If you are living with someone (co-habiting), they can only inherit if you include it in a Will
- If you have children or step-children under 18 and you are the sole parent with legal Parental Responsibility, you can appoint someone of your choice to be their guardian. If you don’t, your children will pass into Local Authority care until the courts decide who they should live with
- You can make more precise and better financial provision if you have a disabled or vulnerable person in your care
- You can choose who you want to administer your estate and carry out your wishes by appointing your own Executors
- The practicalities of administrating an estate and getting a grant of Probate with a Will are far quicker and cheaper than without
- You can leave something to friends or charities if it is specified it in a Will.
- A carefully drafted Will can, in certain circumstances, help reduce the amount of inheritance tax that may need to be paid or protect your finances against long-term care costs
- A change in circumstances such as buying a house, the birth of children or grandchildren, marriage, divorce, Civil Partnerships, addition of step-children, etc.
- Being able to express a preference as to whether you wish to be buried or cremated
If you die without a Will (or if your Will has been drafted incorrectly), you die “intestate” and the laws of intestacy apply which means your own wishes (whatever they may have been) and own personal circumstances are simply ignored. These rules are very strict:
- Married/Civil Partner and no children – everything will pass to your wife/husband/Civil Partner
- Married/Civil Partner with children – your personal ‘chattels’ and the first £250,000 of your estate pass to your wife/husband/Civil Partner. The rest of the estate (‘the residue’) is split – half to your wife/husband/Civil Partner and the other half to your children (not your step children)
- Single with no children – everything passes first to any living parents, then sisters/brothers of whole blood (or their children), then half-brothers/sisters (or their children), then any living grandparents, then aunts/uncles of whole blood (or their children), then aunts/uncles of half-blood (or their children), then to the Crown
- Single with children and you are the sole parent with legal ‘Parental Responsibility’ – everything will pass to the children
- Living/co-habiting with someone – your partner receives nothing
Any unfairness, heartache and delay can be avoided by simply making a valid Will. VALLEY WILLWRITING can ensure you do this by giving you the best advice, by drafting a Will which records your wishes in a way that provides for the future welfare and financial security of your family and finally, by ensuring that the Will is a valid and legal document properly structured and signed.