10 Reasons To Make A Will

What's the worst that could happen?

If you care about what happens to your property after you die, you should make a Will. Without one, the State directs who inherits, so your friends, favourite charities and relatives may get nothing.

Once you have made a Will, you will know that you have done your best to ensure that when you die, your Estate will be dealt with by people you have appointed and trust.

Most of all you will have peace of mind!

What your Will can do for you:

  1. Leave clear instructions about how your Estate is to be distributed. Without one it is subject to the intestacy rules and may not go to the people you would have chosen!
  2. Choose your own Executors the people who will deal with your Estate after you have died. If you die without one, your closest relatives will need to apply for etters of Administration
  3. Appoint guardians to look after your children if they are under 18 and also make financial arrangements for their benefit.
  4. Make specific bequests to individuals. These can range from items of jewellery to sums of cash.
  5. If you have remarried, you can ensure any children from your first marriage get a share of your Estate.
  6. Unmarried partners may not receive anything from your Estate, unless you have made a Will in their favour.
  7. If your Estate is divided according to the intestacy rules, your spouse or civil partner may not receive as much as you would have intended them to.
  8. If you die without leaving a Will and have no spouse or children, your parents or siblings may inherit your estate, even if you prefer it to go elsewhere!!!
  9. Ensure that there are no family disputes.
  10. Without a Will, your family could face a larger Inheritance Tax bill than necessary as a Will can help with the tax-planning process.

I am too busy.

It really doesn't take long to think about your Will and write down some ideas of who you want to leave what to, and who you want to deal with your Estate.

How can I decide any of this now?

This normally means that you are unable to think up the perfect result for your Estate, so you decide not to do anything. Follow this link to see what happens if your estate is dealt with under the intestacy rules. Is this what you want? If not, start by working out who you do not want to leave anything to, and who you do not want to deal with your Estate. Make a Will on this basis, rather than trying to achieve perfection first time. You can always change your Will later!

My husband/wife does not agree with my suggestions.

Do you know what you want? If so, go ahead and make your own Will and show it to your spouse. If they disagree with what you have done, at least you will have started to discuss it and, in due course you can hopefully decide on Wills you both agree with. On the other hand, if they agree with what you have done, suggest that they also make a Will.

I am unable to decide on an important detail in the Will.

Often, people are unable to decide about such things as ultimate residuary beneficiaries, guardians for their children, agreement on who gets what, or appointment of Executors. As mentioned above, think of a situation you really wish to avoid after you die. Make a Will on this basis you can always amend it at a later date.

Your circumstances are changing.

Does what is changing really mean you can't make a Will? The answer is no! You can allow for any anticipated changes. For instance, the arrival of a baby your Will can make provisions for a child even they are not yet born, so this does not matter. If you are moving home, your address at the time you sign you Will does not matter, and can be dealt with by properly drafted wording. Any other contemplated changes can also be covered, so do not wait for whatever changes you anticipate; make your Will now!

For more information on making a Will contact the Emsleys Wills & Probate team by phone on 0113 201 4900 or email us at wills.probate@emsleys.co.uk.

Helen Gott

Written by

Helen Gott

Director & Head of Wills & Probate

Helen is a solicitor, Director and Head of the Wills & Probate department at Emsleys Solicitors. Since qualifying in 2010, Helen has specialised exclusively in the area of Wills & Probate and is described as "very knowledgeable" in The Legal 500 2018-19. Helen is an expert in wills,...

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