If it is important to you what happens to your assets after you die then taking the time to establish a will is paramount.
Listed below are some reasons why taking action may be of interest.
Peace of mind
Making a will is the only way to ensure that your savings and assets (your estate) go to the people and organisations that you care about.
Preventing unnecessary arguments
Leaving a will should remove any doubt about your wishes and who you want to leave your estate to.
Close relatives and dependants may still be able to challenge the will and make a claim on your estate, but a solicitor can advise you on how likely this is and the best way to prevent it.
Discussing your own mortality with loved ones can be a tricky subject to address. However, talking about your wishes can save all concerned a lot of worry. Deciding who you want to leave your possessions to (your beneficiaries) can help make sure they go to the people you intended.
Pass it onto who you really care about
With family units increasingly being made up of second marriages with step children or partners simply living together a will can ensure that assets are kept within the family if this is important to you and are passed on down the generations. Many people are concerned that new spouses or second families will inherit their assets in the future, and a well-structured will can help to prevent this.
With a carefully-planned will, you can also reduce the Inheritance Tax bill on your estate after your death. Inheritance tax is not usually paid on anything you leave to a spouse or civil partner permanently based in the UK.
Your will can be a way to let people know whether you would prefer to be buried, cremated, or some other arrangement. You can also make your wishes clear on music, flowers or donations to a charity.
No will (intestate)
Dying without making a will may mean that your assets are divided up amongst your family in a way that you may not have intended. In extreme cases your savings and assets could end up with the Crown. Surely a charity, local organisation or political party of your choice would be preferable if you have outlived all of your family.
Template wills can be purchased from well known stationery firms on the High Street. In most cases, for a modest outlay a local solicitor will be able to assist in drafting a will. Wingate Financial Planning would be happy to put you in contact with a local solicitor if this would help.