Death is never an easy topic of conversation and none of us want to think about what will happen when we die. Consequently, most people put off making a Will with the intention of making one 'tomorrow'. It's normal to be overwhelmed at the prospect of discussing our death in the context of a Will and sometimes our family situations can be complicated and so it is easier to delay. Unfortunately, 'tomorrow' is not guaranteed and making a Will is one of the most important things you can do for those you love. Put simply - Don't delay!
If you die without a Will, the statutory Intestacy Rules will apply which set out who should inherit your Estate. This means you have no control over who benefits from your Estate and how it will be distributed. For example, the Intestacy Rules set out how much of your estate will pass to your spouse/civil partner (the Statutory Legacy) and how much would be divided between your children. The current Statutory Legacy for a spouse/civil partner is £270,000, so if you are married and die without leaving a Will your Spouse/civil partner will receive only the first £270,000 of assets in your sole name (with a few exceptions). Crucially, you must be married or have a valid Civil Partnership for the rules to apply at all because co-habitation/living with someone is insufficient.
Put simply, the Intestacy Rules come in one size and do not fit all.
We recommend that you make a Will for three main reasons:
A Will can provide certainty about what will happen to your Estate when you die to provide for those you care about as you plan. If you are unmarried or have children from a previous relationship (excluded under the intestacy rules) you can ensure there is provision made for them. You can also appoint those people you trust as Executors to carry out your wishes.
A Will ensures that there is clarity about your wishes that can guide your loved ones at a difficult time following your death. You can express your funeral wishes in your Will to help your family have clarity about your wishes and make the arrangements with confidence. The clarity provided by a Will can also help avoid disputes between family members.
A Will allows you to set out what you want to happen on your death, not just what happens to your assets and personal possessions but other important issues too including appointment of Guardians for your children of your choice or what you would want to happen to your pets.
A Will can help with tax planning and preserving assets to pass on to those you choose.
The Certainty, Clarity and Control of a Will delivers Peace of Mind so, don't delay until 'tomorrow'.
For 10 Good Reasons to make a Will, we invite you to watch the brief Video below. Can you think of 1 Good Reason not to?
10 Good Reasons To Make A Will