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Making a will is important – have you made yours yet
Everybody knows it is important to make a will, but why do most people put off making one of their own? You may think that you are too young or not rich enough to make a will, but now is the best time to do it. It is hard to believe that over 300 million adults in the UK have not yet made a Will – are you one of these people?
Writing a Will is the legal way to clearly document who will benefit from your estate (your property, money, belongings) after your death. Not every one finds it easy to talk about their own mortality or what will happen after they die, but if you die intestate your possessions and property may be distributed according to the law rather than your wishes.
Most people would never wish to leave their family and loved ones exposed to any kind of risk after they have gone and so for that reason we would always advise you to write a will. Peace of mind is priceless.
Your Will is an invaluable opportunity for you to clearly let your intentions be known:
- You can stipulate how your Estate will be distributed and in what proportions, preventing family disputes after your death by putting the right money in the right hands
- If you are not married or in a civil partnership your partner will not inherit automatically, so you can ensure your partner is provided for
- If you are divorced or if your civil partnership has been dissolved, you can decide whether to leave anything to an ex-partner
- You can make sure you don’t pay more Inheritance Tax than necessary
- If you have not appointed legal Guardians for minor children in your Will, then it will be the state who decides who cares for them after you’re gone
- How you would like your funeral conducted
- Whether you wish to donate your organs or your body for medical research
- How to provide for your pets or favourite charity
Once you have created a Will it is not unalterable. If your position changes i.e divorce or remarried, you will need to produce a new Will to reflect the fact that you now wish your possessions and property to be distributed in another way.
As well as making a Will, you can use a Family Trust to pass on your assets in the way you want to. You can provide in your will for specific assets to pass into a trust or for a trust to start once the estate is finalised. You can also use a trust to look after assets you want to pass on to beneficiaries who can’t immediately manage their own affairs due to age or a disability. You can use different types of family trust depending on what to do and the circumstances. Setting up a trust is complicated and it is therefore extremely important that you seek specialist advice.
A Will is one of the most important documents you will ever write, or be involved in writing. It is likely to be the piece of paper that has the most influence on the way your affairs are handled and to ensure your loved ones are secure after your death. Don’t leave it too late.
Chartered Financial Planner