Incredibly only 30% of people in this country have been pro-active enough to make a Will. This leaves 70% with no control over their assets and how these assets will be distributed amongst their surviving family and friends.
If you die without a Will you die “intestate”. The Intestacy Rules dictate that certain members of your family who survive you will be entitled to your Estate. In these circumstances, who receives what is set down in Law which has been drafted by our Law Makers who obviously have no knowledge of your affairs or wishes! If there are no living family members then your Estate passes to the Crown.
It is a common misconception that, should you die without a Will, everything is left to your spouse or partner automatically. This is not the case. In addition, under the Intestacy Rules, unmarried partners receive nothing from your Estate, no Guardians are appointed for your children, your children may inherit at the age of 18 which you may consider too young, and you cannot make arrangements to avoid any Tax.
Making a Will
We endeavour to make the drafting of a Will as simple and painless as possible for you. Having said that, even a simple Will requires a good deal of thought. That is why we are happy to meet with you to discuss your requirements should you wish to do so, and give you the opportunity to download our Will Instruction Form/Questionnaire which can give you the time you may feel is necessary to set down your thoughts.
There are some important parts of a Will which you should consider and these include:
- The appointment of Executors. These are the people who are responsible for your Estate, and for ensuring that the wishes contained in your Will are adhered to.
- Trustees. Trustees need not necessarily be those named as Executors. Should your Will contain provisions which may lead to a child benefiting, then it will be necessary to appoint Trustees to handle the child’s potential financial interest in the Estate until such time as they reach a specified age.
- Guardians. These are the people who look after your children until they reach the age of 18. They provide for your children’s pastoral care, rather than financial care which is handled by the Trustees.
- Funeral wishes. Although you may not have any, it may be very helpful to those left behind to have an indication of what your funeral wishes are. They can be as detailed or as simple as you wish.
- Gifts of Money and Objects. Your Will can deal with this in as much detail as you wish. You have the opportunity to confirm who receives your personal items or specific gifts; recipients may include individuals, couples, pets or charities.
- Residuary Estate. The Residuary Estate is the remainder of your Estate after all debts and individual gifts have been deducted. You can decide whether an individual receives your Residuary Estate or whether it is split in equal (or unequal) shares between a list of people or charities.