Our top 10 reasons to make a Will
1. Distributing your estate in a tax efficient way
Whether inheritance tax is due on your estate depends on both the value of your estate and who inherits it. If your estate is subject to inheritance tax, this can be reduced or mitigated entirely if your estate is distributed in a tax efficient way in your Will. Without a Will, the intestacy rules distribute your estate to your closest relatives and do not take into account the impact this may have on the inheritance tax position.
2. Making provision for care of your minor children
A Will does not only deal with the distribution of your estate but can also make provision for your children should you die before they reach adulthood. You can appoint Guardians in your Will who will be responsible for the care of your children.
3. Making financial provision for your children
Without a Will, your children would automatically inherit your estate at 18 which some may consider too young to have access to significant sums of money. You may prefer to create a trust for your children so that any monies they inherit are held in a trust and managed by trustees until they are mature enough to manage their inheritance.
4. Making provision for your partner
The intestacy laws are based on a traditional perception of family. Even if you’ve spent 20 years with your partner, if you are not married or in a civil partnership, then they will not be entitled to your estate unless you make a Will. With a Will, you can make provision for your partner or any other person who would not otherwise inherit from your estate.
5. Reducing the risk of family disputes
Making a Will allows you to choose who will be responsible for administering your estate. Your Will appoints Executors (people that you trust) to carry out your wishes.
A professionally drafted Will reduces the risk of a dispute arising in relation to who should deal with your estate. This can also reduce the time taken to administer your estate.
A professionally drafted Will also reduces the risk of a dispute arising in relation to the distribution of your estate between family members.
6. Providing a home for someone using a trust
If you own property, or a share of that property, you can in your Will give a loved one the right to live in that property without actually giving them ownership of it. For example, you may wish to give your partner the right to live in your property for as long as they need a home but when they no longer need to live there, you may wish the property to pass to your children.
7. Supporting a charity
You can in your Will make provision for a charity that you wish to support.
Not only will this benefit the charity (charities rely heavily on donations) but can also reduce the inheritance tax due on your estate if your estate is taxable, as charities are exempt from inheritance tax.
8. Making provision for your pets
If you have a pet, you can decide in your Will who should be responsible for their care if they outlive you and perhaps leave a legacy to this person to help towards the cost of caring for your pet.
9. Making funeral arrangements
Following a bereavement, families can often disagree on whether to bury or cremate and where the burial or cremation should take place. Making a Will allows you to make it clear what your choice is so there can be no disagreement about this following your death.
10. Making provisions for close friends
If you do not have close family and you die without a Will, your estate will pass to more distant relatives on your death which may not be what you would have chosen. In such cases, your more distant relatives will need to be located and the cost of this can be considerable. Making a Will means that you can make provision for whoever it is that you want to inherit your estate which is also likely to reduce the costs of administering your estate.