Having a valid Will in place is essential for anyone who wants their estate to be passed on in line with their wishes to their loved ones and to protect them after you have gone.
If a person dies without a Will in England and Wales, their estate passes on in accordance with the intestacy rules – which could have unwanted or unfavourable consequences for your loved ones. This is because the intestacy rules could see key people in your life being disinherited, which could result in lengthy and costly litigation.
Without a Will your children are not protected, especially if they are minors as there is no one legally appointed to care for them or protect their inheritance, if both parents are gone. Also for separated couples with children, the surviving parent has the right to administer the deceased’s parents estate and this could cause incredible emotional distress for your family. Cohabites also have no protection and children from first marriages may lose their inheritance without careful planning. By not having a Will you could in avertedly hurt those you love and cause costly and lengthy litigation to ensue by those affected. Making a Will should not be complex or difficult and the team at Mackrell. Solicitors will make the whole process as seamless as possible.
The main key things having a Will allows you to do are:
- choose who inherits your assets – how much (if anything) and when
- mitigate your inheritance tax liability;
- name the guardians you would like to look after any of your minor children;
- set out directions as to your funeral;
- avoid a lengthy administration of your estate;
- choose who deals with your estate by naming executors and trustees;
- make gifts of money and personal possessions;
- make gifts to charities, which can reduce inheritance tax to 36% if the gift is 10% of your estate or more;
- equalise lifetime gifts made; and
- creating trusts to protect assets and beneficiaries
For help and advice on matters relating to making a Will, contact Natalie Payne from the expert team at Mackrell Solicitors today.