Anyone who owns anything should write a Will, but it is often difficult to know where to start and how to do it. Having a valid Will in place gives you the certainty that your wishes are accurately recorded to be followed after you die.
Without a valid Will, Intestacy Rules will be applied and decide who gets what based solely on blood relationships, whether or not you are close to or even know these relatives. By thinking about it and writing a Will you make sure those you want to inherit do inherit, whether related to you or not. By keeping your Will under regular review you make sure it still reflects your wishes, should your individual circumstances change or people die who are named in the Will.
Benefits of Having a Will
When you leave a current and valid Will that reflects your wishes, you know that those you really want to have something of yours when you die will get it.
There are many reasons to make a will, including:
– To make probate easier
– To avoid your assets being distributed in accordance with the Intestacy rules which means that a husband, wife or civil partner, or children will inherit
– To nominate your preferred guardians of your children to avoid disagreements or family upsets
– To take advantage of tax-saving strategies
You get to decide who sorts things out when you die by choosing suitable, willing and able people as executors. They are guided as to what they can and cannot do by your Will. You can also give them guidance as to what you want to happen at your funeral and whether you want a burial or cremation.
If you have children, you also choose who are guardians of those children if you die while they are still under 18.
You can give different gifts of money or possessions to exactly the individuals you want, whether or not they are related to you.
Do you still need probate with a valid will?
Often people think that having a Will means Probate is not needed, but this is not necessarily the case. However, it does make the position much clearer and easier.
Having a valid and current Will means that you and those you love and care about have peace of mind for when you die. Making it while you are still healthy and hopefully well in advance of dying gives you much more time to consider what to include without feeling pressured and overly emotional about it.