Making a Will can be one of those things that you easily put off, however, it’s a really important document to ensure that your estate is dealt with as you would wish and your loved ones are protected after you die.
Below are five reasons why a Will should be made or reviewed:
1. Division of your estate
A Will lets you divide your assets exactly as you wish, allowing gifts to be left to family, friends or charities. If you do not make a Will, the division of your assets is decided by the Government, under what is known as the ‘Intestacy Rules’. Under these rules, your assets will usually be given to your nearest relatives, although these could be people who you would otherwise disinherit.
2. Appoint guardians for your children
If a parent dies before their children are 18 and a guardian has not been appointed, the Court decides who to appoint as their guardian. The chosen guardian may be different from whom the parent would have selected and therefore may not be the best suited person for the job. Making a Will can also create Trusts to ensure that your children have more financial security.
3. Reduce estate taxes
Wills can be drafted to take into account any tax reliefs, which may lower estate taxes on death. Without a Will, more tax may need to be paid.
4. Decide who will deal with your affairs upon death
Executors are appointed when a Will is made to carry out the administration of the estate, such as contacting banks, selling property and paying taxes. Making a Will ensures that you appoint executors who you trust. If you appoint more than one executor, it’s important that they get along well and have your best interests at heart.
5. Avoid legal challenges
Costly and time-consuming challenges can be made to estates upon death. Unmarried couples aren’t legally entitled to assets of their partner under the Intestacy Rules and there is a greater possibility of legal challenges to estates. Making a Will can help to avoid these challenges, along with minimising unnecessary heartache for any loved ones left behind.