If you do not have a valid Will the law determines who gets your money, your property and all of your personal effects. You would have no say over what happens to your assets when you die and this can cause difficulties for those you care about most. This is particularly important if you own property, are married or have entered into a civil partnership, are getting divorced, have a long-term partner, children or other dependants, or if you wish to benefit someone who is not a close family member. Making a Will makes sense for your own, and your family’s, peace of mind.
If you die without a Will it is called dying “intestate”. Dying intestate can make the process of sorting your affairs more complicated and costly for your family. It may also mean that your estate may not be disposed of as you would have wished. In some cases it could mean that all of your estate passes to the Government.
Therefore, having a correctly written and legally valid Will helps safeguard your Estate and endeavours to ensure that it is distributed as you wish. It can also reduce the burden of Inheritance Tax, provide significant protection for your home from long term care costs, and ensure that suitable guardianships and care arrangements are made for children, other dependants and pets. You should ensure your Will is up to date as both the law and your circumstances change. You can only make a Will whilst you have the ability to understand what is involved. It is possible, however, for the Court of Protection to make what is known as a statutory Will, if required, depending upon the circumstances. We can offer specific advice on these issues as necessary.
If you have a Will it is equally important to make sure it is up-to-date. Wills should be reviewed whenever there is a change in your personal circumstances, for example, a new member of the family, be it a new daughter-in-law or son-in-law, or a new born child. Your Will, unless up-to-date, may exclude loved ones or include family members who you would not wish to benefit.
If you do not have a Will or think yours is out of date, make an appointment with one of our Private Client solicitors.