It is incredibly important to plan ahead for yourself and for your family, and one of the best ways in which you can do this is by writing a will. When people pass without having a will written up, it can create a lot of issues for those who are left behind and can make an already difficult time even more stressful and unpleasant. Many people die in the UK every year without ever having written a will, and this leaves many family members without protection or the correct rights to the assets of the deceased.
The purpose of a will is to legally protect your family members as well as your assets, ensuring that your loved ones will have access to everything that you intend to leave for them. Furthermore, you can specify within your will exactly how you wish for things to be handled when you pass, giving you and your loved ones peace of mind about how everything will go.
There are many reasons why we would recommend that you make a will, and the reasons can vary depending on the person in question. Below, we have listed some of the main reasons why it is so vital to take that first step into creating your will:
Having a will means that you are able to name the loved ones to whom you would like to leave assets, sentimental items, property, and more. Without a will, the distribution of your estate is decided entirely by the laws of intestacy, which can be financially difficult for surviving family members who do not receive what they had hoped for. The laws of intestacy do not take into account the closeness of your relationships or your dependents, and will not include your unmarried partner, step-children or foster children. Your estate could end up being passed to a distant relative or estranged family member, or to your second spouse without any provision for your children.
When writing a will you are able to specify the care instructions for the dependents in your life, such as children or pets. Without a will, the courts and social services make these decisions instead and your wishes may not be carried out.
If your estate is sufficiently large to incur inheritance taxes, it’s important to consult an estate planning specialist to help you minimise your family’s tax bill. Estate taxes can be very high in the absence of a will, but writing one means that your loved ones will get as much of your estate as possible.
Money and property can be given to charity, which must be written into your will explicitly. This is a wonderful way to leave something in a way that is reflective of your values and the way you would like to be remembered; this is also excluded from estate tax up to a certain value.
When writing a will it is possible to leave specific items to loved ones, which is usually done when there are items of sentimental value that you wish to give to someone in particular. Without a will, such items will simply be distributed equally amongst your heirs according to state laws.
During the stressful times surrounding the passing of a loved one, unfortunately there can be some disputes while trying to settle an estate. Such disputes can be very expensive and take up a lot of time. If you write a will, however, there is a far lower chance that such disagreements will occur, and this can make the settling process far easier on loved ones.
There are many highly practical reasons why creating a will is a good idea, but on top of these it will give you peace of mind that everything is in order for your loved ones, and that your wishes will be seen to without doubt. Once you have your will written, you can make amendments and adjustments to ensure that the document reflects your current situation, assets, property and wishes upon your passing.
Whatever reason you may have for not yet having a will, it’s time to make the best decision you’ll ever make for total peace of mind – both now, and for future generations. Get in touch today to speak to the RRK Legal team about your estate planning requirements.