Parfitt Cresswell explain why it is important you should make a Will

Do I really need to make a Will?

None of us like to think too much about getting older. Dying and planning what will happen to our assets can seem a laborious and overly complicated task, so it’s hardly surprising that more than half of UK adults (59 per cent) don’t have a Will in place [i]  

Put simply, making a Will allows you to choose who gets your assets after your death. A valid Will is one of the most important financial arrangements you can make during your lifetime and could save your family and loved ones a huge amount of cost, trouble and heartache when you die.

The Private Client team at Parfitt Cresswell draw on their experience and expertise to explain why and how you should get a Will:

Who will my assets and money go to if I do not make a Will?

If you do not make a Will then the rules of intestacy apply, which may not necessarily be consistent with your intentions. For example, following changes to The Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act 2014, if your Estate is worth more than £270,000 and you are married and have children, then your spouse is likely to receive only the first £270,000, and personal chattels, and then 50 per cent of the remainder with the other 50 per cent passing to your children. If you are not married the position is even worse because your partner would not be entitled to any of your estate at all.

What should the trigger points be for making a Will?

Getting married, entering a civil partnership, buying a property, or having children should all be trigger points for getting your will written. 

Will my estate be liable for Inheritance Tax?

Inheritance tax is a complex issue and really you should speak to an experienced private client lawyer for advice that’s relevant to your individual circumstances. The current Inheritance Tax threshold is £325,000 and assets above this sum will be taxed at 40 per cent.  There are additional exemptions, such as spouse or charity exemption, which are exempt from Inheritance Tax.  There are other allowances, such as Business Property Relief or Residence Nil Rate Band, which your estate can benefit from if your Will is drafted carefully by an expert. 

Does a Will save me money?

When making a Will you are potentially saving thousands of pounds after you die on wasted administration costs; for example, by simply stating your beneficiaries’ addresses in your Will you will save time and money instructing a professional to locate them.

Who will look after my children if I don’t make a Will?

In your Will you can appoint the appropriate relatives or friends as guardians to look after your children and therefore ensure they are provided with the care, security and support that they will need after you have died. Failure to appoint guardians may lead to unnecessary court proceedings.

Who do you want to administer your estate?

If you die intestate, without making a Will that is, you will have no control over who administers your estate after you have died. However, if you have a Will you can state who you wish to act as your executors to do this.

A Will is the only thing that gives you the power to decide how your estate, including all your possessions are dealt with after your death and it is important that you get the right legal advice when making or updating yours.

For further advice regarding making a Will and estate planning and to arrange your complimentary video or telephone consultation with one of their experienced Will and estate planning experts contact Parfitt Cresswell today to on 01753 271 640 or email enquiries@parfittcresswell.com

[i] https://business.unbiased.co.uk/press-releases/fewer-people-in-the-uk-have-wills-in-place-than-last-year-with-nearly-four-in-ten-over-55s-having-no-will-at-all-26-9-2016

Royal Borough Observer | News WIndsor