The Importance Of Writing A Will
The only way of ensuring that your affairs are dealt with as you wish is by writing a Will.
Everyone requires a Will. However, it is especially important if you have dependents, own property or have other valuable assets.
If you die without a Will, your assets will be distributed following the ‘Intestacy Rules’. If you are married or in a civil partnership at the time of death, you will automatically inherit your partner’s estate. This may not be how you would like your estate to pass.
If you have informally separated from your partner prior to your death, your partner can still inherit under the Rules.
Co-habiting partners who were neither married or in a civil partnership cannot inherit under these Rules.
Writing a Will ensures that your estate passes to those who you would like to inherit.
Choose a Guardian for your Children
To avoid any doubt as to who will look after your children when you have died, you need to name a Guardian in your Will.
Decide who will administer your Estate
An Executor will administer your estate in accordance with your Will. You may choose to have a family member or a close friend to act as your Executor. If your affairs are complex, you may choose to have an impartial professional Executor such as a Solicitor who could act on their own on alongside a close friend or family member. If a child is inheriting under your Will, you will require two trustees to manage the child’s inheritance until the child has reached the age mentioned in the Will. It is often the Executors who will act as trustees.
Advise who you wish to Inherit Treasured Personal Possessions
To avoid family heirlooms or treasured possessions from being auctioned off instead of being inherited by family members or friends who may cherish your possessions as much as you do, stipulate your wishes within your Will.
Specify your Funeral Wishes
Avoid confusion and assist loved ones by specifying your wishes within your Will.
Be reassured that your affairs are in order making it easier for loved ones to cope. It is important that Wills are properly drafted to minimise the chance of a potential argument about your estate after death.
Article written by Katherine Law, Wills & Probate Solicitor at Michael Lewin Solicitors