Posted by Kathryn Caple, Head of Private Client Services at Else Solicitors in Burton on Trent, on 6 May, 2014
1, Enjoy Life A Little More: Plan Ahead For Peace Of Mind
Have you been putting off writing your Will? You probably don’t like the thought of creating one, because doing so involves accepting that inevitably, one day you won’t be here any more.
Writing a Will might seem unnecessary if you really feel that you have little money or no one to share it with. But everyone over the age of 18 should seriously consider making a Will. It’s not just about leaving large lump sums of cash to fortunate relatives.
2, Where There’s A Will, There’s A Happy Family
If you care about your family you’ll want what’s best for them. Financial planning and thinking about Wills and life insurance might seem dull but it shouldn’t be overlooked. Being prepared for bad times means that you can relax and enjoy the good times together.
If you have children, they’ll be full of emotions when you’re gone. Whether they still have one parent left or not, it will be a difficult time for everyone involved. Dividing up wealth (or even debts) without a Will is no mean feat either. Most normal families will experience a little tension sometimes, so when it comes to money there can be strong differing opinions on what each person thinks is fair. By laying everything out clearly in a Will, you can avoid disputes occurring in the family.
3, Revealing Hidden Treasures
Just the very process of making a Will can bring up questions and scenarios that you had been completely overlooked. It can help you to realise the value of items that you had previously ignored or forgotten about.
You may even find that you have employment, insurance or pension benefits that you weren’t aware of. Make sure you’re taking full advantage of all these benefits by mentioning them in your Will. After making a Will you’ll probably feel better off than you did and may well enjoy a holiday or two!
Alternatively, you may know that your children will receive a cracking inheritance but want to keep this a secret from them until the time comes. If you don’t want to tell them that there’s a safe full of diamonds with their name on, then at least make sure you write it down.
4, Dying Intestate Leaves Your Family In A State
Someone dying unexpectedly who hasn’t written a Will, has died ‘Intestate’. If this happens to you, the government gets to say what happens to your wealth. Standard laws won’t always benefit everyone that you would have wanted to leave money or property to. For example, if you’re married the Intestacy Rules will mainly only benefit your husband or wife.
If you are not married, your Partner will not legally be entitled to anything from your estate. Blood relatives including possible estranged family members will benefit instead.
If your relationship has broken down with family members then writing a Will can make sure that these people will not inherit from your estate. Only those who you want to benefit will receive anything.
5, Take The Law Into Your Own Hands
English law allows you great freedom as an individual to decide how your estate is divided after you have died. Some people have even left their estate to their pets in the past, or their entire wealth to charities. If you fail to make a Will, you’re leaving it to the law to decide who’ll get what.
Many people have charities close their heart and you can use your Will to leave gifts to them to help continue valuable work. Spend time thinking about the people and causes that you care about as you devise your Will to ensure your money and your assets make it to the right place.
You may feel concerned that the process of making a Will will be complex and emotionally difficult, but with the right support from your family, and with professional advice, you’ll find the process straightforward and palatable.
It’s not advisable to create a Will without professional guidance from Will solicitors. Doing-so could lead to an inheritance dispute if the Will is not correctly drafted. So, make sure your family and loved ones are protected and that your wishes are clear. Make an appointment with our specialist Wills team at Else Solicitors in Birmingham or Burton on Trent today.