Do I need a Will?
Wills mean that you decide who will receive your property, you choose who will carry out your final wishes and if you have young children who will look after them.
In your Will you can not only provide for family and friends but also pets. If you do not include your pet in your Will then it goes to your executor. Your pet can be left to a charity who will look after it or to a friend or family member along with a sum of money to ensure that it can be looked after as you would wish it to be.
A Will is the ideal place to support a charity, as by leaving a gift equivalent to 10% of your taxable estate there will be less inheritance tax to pay and not only will the charity benefit but your beneficiaries might too.
If your spouse is in a care home or is unlikely to be able to remain at home then a Will is essential to protect your property from being spent on care costs.
Should you have children with medical needs, are unemployed, in receipt of state benefits, going through a divorce or not responsible for money then a Will can protect your property from being used to replace lost benefits, going to a former spouse or being wasted.
For second marriages a Will can protect your home, so your share ends up with your children or the people you choose and not your spouse’s children from a prior marriage.
It is possible that your spouse might remarry. It is not uncommon for vulnerable persons to remarry, only to be taken advantage of. Your Will can help protect your spouse and your home from ending up with a stranger.
Many married couples believe they do not need a Will as all of their property goes to their spouse. In fact your spouse is only entitled to the first £250,000 plus 50% of any balance, the remaining 50% goes to your children. Your estate might therefore have to pay inheritance tax on your death and your home might need to be sold.
Other couples who are not married believe that their common law spouse receives all. This is incorrect as if you are not married your property goes to your children and if they are under 18 on trust, or if you have no children your property goes to your parents or your brothers and sisters. Your common law spouse is entitled to nothing unless they make a claim against your estate for support. The cost of a claim is thousands more that making a Will.
If you have no close relatives then your property could end up with the Crown or even the Prince of Wales, a Will avoids this as you get to decide who receives your property.
Is there a Will? Is a common question and unless you have made a Will it will involve hundreds spent on advertising and searches for a possible Will.
Finally a common reason not to make a will is the fear that making a Will, is that it will then result in death unfortunately death comes to those with or without a Will.