Is it time to move ‘Make my Will’ to the top of your To Do List?
Life is full of surprises, so we all know that the best time to plan for tomorrow is today. But only around half of adults in the UK have made a Will. Of those who don’t have a Will, over half say the reason is because they have not got around to it… But without a Will
- You do not have an executor and someone must be appointed to act as an administrator of your estate. This means potential delay, expense, frustration, and maybe even loss.
- There is no opportunity to select guardians for any minor children you may have. This means that the Public Guardian (the government) may be involved in your children’s personal lives. Any parent knows how important it is to make sure that your children are in the hands of someone you choose.
- The gov.uk website has a simple interactive tool that will show you who will inherit if there is no Will: https://www.gov.uk/inherits-someone-dies-without-will
- Your children may not receive the amount you wanted them to receive and there is no opportunity to provide a trust for them. This means that when they reach the age of majority they receive all of the funds whether or not you have chosen that option at that point in their lives.
- Certain assets that you may have wanted to be kept for your family’s security or for investment purposes may have to be sold.
- In the event of a disaster (where your whole immediate family passes away), your estate may go to a relative that you may have never spoken to, or don’t even like. With a Will you could choose to benefit your favourite charities.
- Cohabiting relationships are not recognised in UK law. This means that your life partner may not receive anything from your estate upon your death without legal challenge and court costs.
- You are unable to take advantage of tax savings and save money on lawyers and court costs following your death. I’m always amazed at how little a will costs to set up in comparison to how much legal fees can cost when there are problems with an estate.
- You cannot indicate what is to happen in the event a family member dies before you.
- A family business or heirloom may not be able to stay in your family, and it may be necessary to sell. When there is something of significant value like a business, it is so important to plan ahead to avoid potential conflicts.
- Ultimately, without a Will, you are unable to exclude or include beneficiaries. You must depend on the law and the government to decide the economic fate of your family and loved ones.
With so many options available how do you decide who to ask for help? There are online services, home visit services and the traditional options of going to a local solicitor or a bank. As with any important purchase it is a good idea to make enquiries and shop around. Be sure to check qualifications and credentials. A recommendation from a friend or colleague can be useful. Free will drafting services often appoint a professional executor who will charge fees to administer your estate, whereas if you appoint a member of your family or a friend they have the option to choose who to ask for help. As with most things in life if it seems too good to be true – it probably is!
Call Carisma Wills today on 01538 756166 for free advice or to make an appointment. We promise there’ll be no hard sell, just affordable peace of mind.