The importance of a will… and keeping it up to date!

A will is a legally binding document which allows you to determine how you would like your estate to be handled and distributed upon your death. Five reasons to make a will are:

• If you die without a will, the rules of intestacy apply. These standard rules defined by law which dictate how the estate is shared, and who benefits. This may not be in the way you wish your money and possessions to be distributed.

• A will can help reduce the amount of Inheritance tax that might be payable on the estate. An example is if more than 10% of an individual’s estate is left to charity, then the rate of inheritance tax would reduce from 40% to 36%. Other planning aspects to help reduce an IHT bill could include; gifting, planning protection policies, making use of pensions.

• People outside your immediate family such as unmarried partners, or partners of unregistered civil partnerships, cannot inherit from each other unless there is a valid will in place.

• If you have children or other family who depend on you financially, you will need to make arrangements for them in the event of your death.

• A will makes it much easier for your family, friends or intended beneficiaries to sort everything out at an already difficult time, helping to reduce unnecessary distress.

Keeping your will up to date is just as important. Such events as divorce/separation, or birth of a child/grandchild, may be an appropriate time to write or update your will. Even more so, upon marriage where wills are revoked – one should update their will to reflect new wishes. A review each year is a good healthy exercise to ensure it remains in line with wishes.

A Solicitor can help you write a will and/or check a will to ensure it remains appropriate, especially with any life changing events such as those mentioned above.

Ensuring you have a will in place is a vital starting point towards estate planning. Here at Wingate we can assist with planning your financial future to help mitigate and reduce any inheritance tax which may due on your estate upon your death.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss estate planning, please do not hesitate to contact us at Wingate Financial Planning.

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