What’s in a Will? Why writing yours is a must-have this March!

2 March 2024

Do you know what will happen to your estate when you die?

Wills aren’t just for the wealthy. It’s essential for all of us to plan ahead, knowing that our wishes are clearly set out and providing for those we care about.

Over half of UK adults don’t have a Will! In this article, we explore why a Will is so important to protect the interests and families of you, and the people important to your organisation.

What happens if we die without a Will?

Property will be distributed in line with laws which may not reflect our wishes.

If we’re not married or in a civil partnership, partners won’t automatically inherit an estate unless a Will has been made to say that they should. Instead, the estate passes to children (if we have any) once they turn 18. A Will is vital to protect a partner’s home, or their other financial affairs.

If we are married or in a civil partnership, the estate goes entirely to our spouse if there are no children, or will be split between our spouse and children if we have a family. Depending on the value of the estate, a family may receive a sizeable Inheritance Tax bill.

Making a Will allows us to plan for the tax-efficient distribution of an estate to make sure we protect the interests of those we care about.

Could a Will help my family save on tax?

When we die, our estate may be subject to Inheritance Tax or Capital Gains Tax. In fact, more and more estates are now becoming subject to Inheritance Tax as a result of inflation and rapid increases in house values.

Professional estate planning helps us to get our affairs in order, lets those close to us know what to expect, and helps to provide long-term financial security for our families, saving time and legal costs further down the line.

Is it expensive to make a Will?

Making a simple Will is easy and affordable, especially through Adroit Legal Services benefits. Clients may choose to write a free Will online, in-person or over the phone during Free Wills Month this March.

  • Online: Support and an easy-to-follow process is on hand from industry experts at Octopus Legacy as individuals prepare their own draft Will online. A team of experts checks over each Will before it’s signed and witnessed.
  • Over the phone or in person with Adroit Legal Services: Just call 0800 773 4014 to get started!

If more in-depth estate planning advice, or Wills for others, such as your spouse, are needed, our Will writers will provide a fee quote on our competitive rates.

Making things easier for those close to us

A Will certainly makes life easier for those we leave behind.

Not only do we protect their interests, particularly if we live with a partner or where there are dependents, but by making some difficult decisions – such as setting out funeral arrangements, stating who is to receive certain belongings and naming guardians for children – we help them through what is likely to be a challenging time.

Do we need to make Lasting Powers of Attorney as well?

We never know what’s around the corner. Lasting Powers of Attorney offer vital flexibility, protection and reassurance in the event that we become unable to make decisions or act on our own behalf.

Which Lasting Powers of Attorney can be granted?

There are two types of LPA:

Property & Financial Affairs LPA

This LPA allows attorney(s) to act on our behalf in dealing with financial affairs such as paying bills and dealing with banks, buying and selling property, paying a mortgage and investing money.

Health & Welfare LPA

The “health and welfare” LPA can only be used by attorney(s) if we have lost mental capacity, and covers decisions such as where the grantor will live, the medical care they should receive, and welfare matters such as decisions about the people the grantor should see, washing and dressing needs, and diet.

What happens if we don’t make Lasting Powers of Attorney?

Without LPAs, important decisions about financial and health affairs may not be made by people we trust, or who have our best interests at heart. Those close to us – even a partner or children – may not be able to make decisions without applying for a Deputyship Order, which takes time and can be expensive.

LPAs are cost-effective, time-saving, take effect quickly and make our wishes expressly clear for those who need to understand them.

This article has been prepared by Adroit Legal Services and is not intended to constitute legal advice.

Practical bereavement support from the National Bereavement Service

The National Bereavement Service supports anyone who has experienced a bereavement, including sudden or traumatic bereavement, with practical and emotional information and advice from professional bereavement advisors with real, lived experience.

We help you to comply with legal requirements, signpost you to providers such as funeral directors and solicitors, and provide a listening ear that helps you through a very difficult time.

For personal, confidential, and practical help following a bereavement, or for advice when planning your future, call the NBS on 0800 0246 121 or visit www.thenbs.org

Trusted legal support for your people by Adroit Legal Services

Established in 2015, Adroit connects your people and your customer base to quality-assured, affordable and accessible legal services from trusted and experienced experts.

Legal specialists throughout the UK are tried and tested, delivering honest advice whatever stage of life you’re at to protect your interests, family and wellbeing.

Adroit’s panel of advisors, including estate planning and LPA specialists, offers a free initial consultation and discounted rates to make legal services accessible to everyone that’s important to your organisation.