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Why should I make a Will?

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Author: Richard Biddle

Ever thought about making a Will but didn’t? Are you worried about making a Will and therefore don’t get around to it? You are not alone, as approximately 60% of people in England and Wales have not made a Will. 

You might ask, ‘Why should I make a Will?  It’s obvious my estate and affairs will pass onto my partner or children.’  Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as that and there are many situations where having a Will would help clarify matters and ensure your wishes are met.

Many couples with children, who have been in a relationship for a number of years but have never married or entered into a civil partnership, could be shocked to find that the estate of the first to die does not simply pass to the surviving partner. In fact the deceased’s estate passes to their children. This has the potential to leave the surviving partner without any financial support or possibly provision for accommodation. 

Lack of financial support can lead to conflict within families and possible litigation which inevitably contributes to family breakdowns and leads to increased legal fees and delays.

By making a Will you have the power to be able to appoint executors to deal with the administration of your estate. You also have the power to distribute your estate to whomever you want and in the proportions that you want.

If you do not make a Will, your estate will be dealt with in accordance with the intestacy rules (rules of who can inherit if there is no Will). In effect, the state will direct how your estate is distributed.

Because Will writing is a complex area of law, which requires the careful consideration of a number of different taxes, it is best advice to seek professional legal guidance in making your Will. There is also a need for clear and accurate drafting as the slip of the pen could lead to ambiguity as to the creator of the Will’s intentions and may result in there being disappointed beneficiaries.

More and more probate lawyers have to untangle the creator of the Will’s wishes following the preparation of a homemade Will and perhaps deliver unwelcomed news to executors as to unforeseen tax consequences of a badly drafted Will.

At Brethertons, we have a wealth of experience across our offices in Rugby, Banbury and Bicester in all aspects of Will Preparation, Family Tax Planning, Lifetime Trusts, The Preparation of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) and the Administration of Estates.

If you would like expert advice in relation to the preparation of your Will call Brethertons on 01788 579 579 and ask to speak with a member, of our professional and experienced, Wills Trust and Probate Team.