A Will is a legal document that sets out what you’d like to happen to your possessions when you die. You can decide who will inherit your estate and even express wishes about what sort of funeral you’d like.
54% of adults in the UK don’t have a Will and 60% of parents don’t have an up to date Will, which means that they either don’t have one or that it’s out of date.
If somebody dies without an up-to-date Will in the UK their property is shared out according to ‘rules of intestacy’. If they have no family to inherit and nobody applies for probate, then their assets may go to HM Treasury.
We’ve put together a list of reasons why it’s never too early to start thinking about making a Will.
An obvious one but perhaps the most important reason it’s never too early to make a Will. The future is uncertain and although it might seem morbid, or that you feel like you might be tempting fate, it’s always better to be prepared if the worst does happen.
Make it easier for your friends and family
Without a Will, the process of sorting out your assets after you die can be lengthy and time-consuming. Plus, you can try head off any family disputes that may arise in the event of your death before they happen. Making sure that you have a Will, and that your family and friends are aware of your wishes can make the process stress-free.
Avoid the rules of intestacy
The rules of intestacy, as defined by the government can be strict and there are a lot of hoops you’ll need to jump through. If you don’t have an up to date Will, or no Will at all, under the rules of intestacy only married or civil partners and certain relatives can inherit your assets. Making sure you have a Will can ensure that everybody you’d like to inherit your estate/possessions, regardless of whether they’re a partner, family member or friend can do so.
Reduce the amount of inheritance tax you’ll pay
The amount of inheritance tax you’ll have to pay depends on the value of your estate, assets and property (and who you leave it to). Anything left to your partner or spouse may be exempt from inheritance tax. Creating a tax-efficient Will can potentially dramatically reduce the amount of inheritance tax you’ll have to pay.
Make a gift or donate money to charity
Leaving a gift to charity in your Will can also help reduce the amount of inheritance tax you’ll have to pay on your estate if you leave more than 10% of your assets. As well as reducing your tax bill, it’s also a great opportunity to support a cause that’s close to your heart.
Protect your partner if you’re not married
If you’re unmarried your partner won’t be entitled to inherit anything from your estate unless you’ve specifically stated that they can in your Will. Plus, if you’re a homeowner it means that your spouse won’t suddenly find themselves having to deal with losing their home, as well as losing you.
Protect your digital assets
We live in the modern world and our possessions these days include our digital assets as well as our material and financial assets. By making a Will you can ensure that your digital legacy is protected and that you have a say in what happens to it when you die.
Our Wills Team can help you write a Will in case the worst ever happens. By answering a few simple questions, our experts can put a Will together that’s tailored to suit you. Click here to find out more.