A will is a legal declaration of how you wish to dispose of your property on your death. In order for it to be valid it must comply with certain requirements.
Four reason why you need a will!
- A will makes it much easier for your family or friends to sort everything out when you die. Without a will the process can be more time consuming and stressful.
- If you don’t write a will, the law decides how your estate is passed on – and this may not be in line with your wishes.
- A will can help reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax that may be payable on the value of the property and money you leave behind.
- Writing a will is especially important if you have children or other family who depend on you financially or if you want to leave something to people outside your immediate family.
Common rules if you don’t make a will
- If you’re not married and not in a civil partnership, your partner is not legally entitled to anything when you die.
- If you’re married, your husband or wife may inherit most or all of your estate and your children may not get anything. This is true even if you are separated (but not if you’re divorced, except in Scotland).
- If you have children or grandchildren, how much they are legally entitled to will depend on where you live in the UK – but if you make a will you can decide this yourself.
- Any Inheritance Tax that your estate has to pay may be higher than it would be if you had made a will.
- If you die with no living close relatives, your whole estate will belong to the Crown or to the government. This law is called ”Bona Vacantia”
Advice from one of our advisers will help you to understand the legal jargon, and ensure that your will is legally valid. We’ll guide you through the process and help you think through how your estate should be divided.