Got a Will? You should have…

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Die without a Will and the law decides who gets what from your estate (not you)!

We explain why it is so important that you have an up to date will.

If you die without a will the law decides your final wishes, not you.  Making a will puts you in charge and allows you to decide what happens to your property when you die. Making your wishes clear before you die means that loved ones, friends and even charities you support are cared for.

According to a recent survey, only one in three adults has organised a proper will.

Even if you are married, living with a partner or have children, it is wrong to assume that they will automatically receive your property should you die.  Part or all of your estate might end up going to people who you never intended to benefit.  If you don’t make a Will, not only will the law decide who inherits your property but you could leave your loved ones with a lot of administration at a very difficult time for them.

Without a Will, your loved ones may also have to pay more inheritance tax than necessary. You may not consider yourself to be wealthy, but when you add everything up, you may find that you have more than you realise, particularly if you own your own home. All your possessions count towards the value of your estate, including your pension, jewellery, furniture, shares, etc.

So what do you need to think about?  Start by making a list of what you have to leave and whom you would like to leave it to.  Include details of such things as insurance policies, savings, any property you own as well as treasured possessions.  If you have young children or pets, think about who should care for them. Without a will it is usually up to surviving family members to decide who cares for the children.  A will allows you to appoint legal guardians for them.

You will also be asked to choose an “executor”.  This is the person who will carry out your wishes after your death.  Common choices are relatives or close friends, but you could ask your solicitor to act as one.

Once you have made a will, it does not mean that you cannot change it.  In fact, it is advisable to update a will at least every three to five years.

With a properly put together will by a solicitor you can be more confident that what you want to happen actually takes place.

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