Whilst no one wants to dwell on what will happen to their belongings after their demise, preparing a will can help to put your mind at rest that you are in control of what happens to your estate in the event of your death.
Without a will, the people who receive your estate are decided according to a standard set of rules laid out by the law, which may not be in agreeance with what you’d like.
As well as giving you peace of mind that your estate will go to those closest to your heart, here are five more important reasons to write a will.
Less stress for friends and family
Having what is to happen to your estate already planned out in a will makes the process much less stressful for your loved ones. Without a will, sorting your estate out can be a time-consuming and upsetting process at what is already an emotionally draining time. Making it clear in your will how you would like your estate divided also minimises the risk of any disagreements breaking out.
You decide who receives everything you own
Without a will your possessions may not end up in the hands of the people you would have liked them to, as they will be divided according to a standard set of rules. For example, if you’ve separated from your spouse, but are still legally married to them they could end up getting everything, and if you have a child outside of marriage then they may not receive anything. Without a will you cannot leave an inheritance to grandchildren rather than children either. A will allows you to select exactly who you would like to receive what.
It will reduce the amount of inheritance tax due
Depending on the size of your estate and who you’re leaving it to, inheritance tax could be charged at a rate of as much as 40%! Having a will can reduce the amount of inheritance tax that is paid on your estate and any money that you leave behind by making good use of tax-free amounts, meaning more money in the pockets of your loved ones.
Appoint guardians for children aged under 18
If you have children aged under 18 then writing a will is extremely important as it allows you to choose the most suitable guardian for them in the event of your death. Without a will your children could end up being brought up by someone you would not have chosen yourself.
Choose to leave money to a charity
If there is a charity or cause that is close to your heart, writing a will gives you the opportunity to leave them a gift. Money left to charities is tax-free too!
Whilst it is possible to create a homemade will, there is always the risk of an error being made that means the will is invalid. Having your will drafted by a specialist solicitor ensures that the document gives complete clarity as to what your wishes are.