A will is a living document that expresses, in black and white, a person's final wishes for what should happen to their assets after they die. Making your will is the single most important thing you can do to ensure that your home, money and possessions go to the people you love and cherish. Putting money away for a rainy day and making sensible decisions about financial planning is all very well, but if you haven't made a legally valid will then it could all go to the wrong person.
Some wills are quite straight-forward to write. Yet relationships themselves are very rarely straight-forward and the more complicated the relationships are, the more involved writing a will becomes. Rowlington Tilley enjoys getting involved and we do genuinely care enough to make sure that a will is correct.
Why should you bother?
If you die without leaving a valid will, your assets (your estate) is divided up according to the rules of intestacy. These rules provide the framework for who can inherit and they can be very harsh, especially in modern family situations. Your assets might also be liable to unnecessary tax.
For example, there are no rights of inheritance whatsoever for unmarried couples; same-set partners not in a civil partnership; relations by marriage such as step-children, even if you have lived together for years' close friends or carers. Married or civil partners inherit only if they are actually married or in a civil partnership at the time of your death. So if you have separated and your ex-partner now lives with someone else, they can still inherit your estate automatically.
If you have children who are minors and the unthinkable happens, you'll want to choose their guardians. You'll want to choose people who will take care of your children in a loving environment, in the manner you want want and with similar values to your own. A simple clause in your will ensures your children are looked after by the people you choose, and not decided by the courts.
Making a will is a responsible act with so many advantages and gives you reassurance that your wishes won't be ignored. You will be leaving behind a clear set of instructions for people to follow and avoid confusion and unnecessary heartache after your death.
It is possible to make a will yourself using forms you can buy over the counter or online. However, while they may look simple to complete, it is very easy to make a mistake. This could invalidate the will and cause long and costly legal disputes and the wishes expressed in the will may not be fulfilled.
When milestones happen in your life, such as the birth of a grandchild or the loss of a loved one, it can alter what you want to happen to your assets. If your circumstances have changed since your will was made we can review it with you and update or re-write it to reflect your wishes.
If you want friendly, straightforward, professional advice with absolutely no pressure, get in touch today and make an appointment to discuss your requirements in confidence.
People usually have lots of questions about wills, so we have prepared answers to commonly asked questions which we hope you find helpful. View the Q&A here.
Our jargon-free leaflet on wills is available for you to view online here. You can also print it to keep as a handy reference.
The Inheritance and Trustees' Powers Bill simplifies intestacy rules for England and Wales. However, it remains a complex topic. Why not contact Rowlington Tilley for professional advice? Give us a call or send us an email