10 Reasons to Make a Will – Choice not Chance

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Making a Will can be a daunting process and it is for this reason that so many of us put it off, however our specialist Wills team here at Bennett Griffin will guide you as your Trusted Advisor, using their experience and skills to provide you with the necessary information and options to enable you make informed choices and take control rather than leaving matters to chance.

We have put together this guide to highlight 10 reasons to make a Will and some of the pitfalls that you may come across if you don’t;

  1. Beneficiaries – you choose who will benefit from your estate, when and how much they are will be entitled to. Should it be income and/or capital? Should it be a fixed sum or a percentage?
  2. It is a common mistake for people to think that their spouse will automatically be entitled to inherit everything, but this is not the case. If you die without a Will, then the Rules of Intestacy states how much your spouse is entitled to and who else will inherit. If you make a will, you can consider whether to make an absolute gift or perhaps a lifetime trust
  3. If you do not make a Will and you arenot married, then under the intestacy rules your partner is not entitled to anything from your estate. There is no legal concept for “common law spouse”!
  4.  You may wish to leave gifts to friends, charities, or family members who would not otherwise be entitled under the Rules of Intestacy. On closer examination you may decide it more appropriate and beneficial to make a lifetime gift or to skip a generation depending on your particular objectives.
  5. Guardians – you can appoint a guardian to look after your children if they are under 18. Without an effective guardian appointment, it would mean that your children could end up in the care of Social Services whilst the Court decides who should look after your children.
  6.  Executors – you can appoint people you trust to administer your estate to act as your executors. There may be circumstances where it is appropriate to have co-executors or replacement executors or for it to be beneficial to appoint Professional Executors due to concerns about claims against the will or potentially acrimonious relationships.
  7.  Administration – If a Will is in place it is clearer for loved ones to know what you wanted and it may be quicker to administer your estate. If there is no Will it is your next of kin who could be entitled to be appointed to become an administrator and be responsible for your estate whereas you may have had good reason not to appointment specific relatives!
  8.  Tax – the careful consideration that we will ensure that you give to your financial affairs when making a will with one of our qualified specialist advisors can help identify tax issues when there may still be opportunity to minimise the amount of Inheritance or other tax due as well as other future potential liabilities.
  9.  Claims – you may anticipate potential claims against your Will and a carefully drafted will with appropriate safeguards that we can incorporate into the process, including video signing and records of wishes, can help prevent or limit certain family members from benefiting from your estate but this can only be achieved by writing utilizing expert specialist advice.
  10. Contingency Plans – it is appropriate to ensure that you have considered and provided for alternative case scenarios in the event of unexpected events such as beneficiaries predeceasing you and thereby inadvertently causing your estate to be partially intestate.

Take control – make informed choices and don’t leave things to chance

By working with us as your Trusted Advisor and planning ahead when preparing your Will, considering your particular wishes and in the light of our knowledge of your particular circumstances, you will gain the peace of mind of knowing that when the time comes you have done all you can to make life as easy as possible for your loved ones and that they will benefit in the way that you intended.

We would really value the opportunity of speaking with you to see how our expertise and enthusiasm can help you to secure you and your family’s future. Just call Ian Macara on 01903 706956 or Gema West on 01903 706985 or Lucy Nevill on 01903 706994.

The information contained in this article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be legal advice. Professional advice should always be taken on the application of the law in any particular situation.