We probably understand that we should have a Will but the reality is that most of us don’t have one.
Why make a will?
It’s important to understand what will happen to our estate if we die without a Will (Dying Intestate) Making a Will is the only way to ensure that your wishes are carried out after your death.
It is important that your Will is professionally drafted. Having a Do It Yourself Will may not be valid, could be ambiguous and open to challenge.
You don’t suddenly wake up on a morning and think “I need to make my Will”. It’s a bit of an inert subject that most of us avoid or put it off either thinking “I am too young to be thinking about this” or “I will do it later “. The reality is that we are all on the same journey we just don’t know when it will be our time to get off the journey.
What does a Will do?
A Will can help you appoint someone you trust (‘Executor/Trustee’) to look after your estate for the ultimate benefit of your beneficiaries, if you have Children then a Will can appoint guardians for your children. Another main factor of having a Will means you avoid the Rules of Intestacy.
When having a Will this will give your Executors the authority to deal with your estate which can include: Investments, Bank Accounts, Property and Probate.
If you don’t have a valid Will your property will pass according to The Laws of Intestacy. This may not be what you would have wished for but also it is likely that it will take longer to administer your estate and your beneficiaries may not be able to draw any money from your estate which can also lead to arguments and distress for your relatives.
How can Making a Will help me?
If you are single
You might want your estate divided between relatives and friends and in the proportion that you want.
If you are Married
Don’t assume “my other half will get everything”. Brother and sisters and parents many have a claim.
Often your Children will have a right to part of your estate.
One thing you can be certain of is – there will be arguments and disputes at a time when the family will be coping with the loss of a loved one.
If you are a Parent
You should consider who you would like to look after your children when you have gone.
Particularly important in the case of one parent families or unmarried couples living together.
If no one knows what you would have wanted the Courts will decide upon the future of your children and this may not what you or your children would have wished.