What is a Will & why you should make one

What is a Will & why you should make one

9th June 2021

Making a Will can be a daunting prospect.  It is estimated that over half the population have not made a Will, with around 60,000 estates each year being ‘intestate’, meaning there is not a valid Will in place. 

Solicitor Katie Nightingale explains why making a Will is important and easy to do……

What is a Will?

In essence a Will is a legally binding document which allows you to choose who will benefit from your assets when you die.  It lets you leave clear instructions about how your estate is distributed.  You also choose your own Executors, who will be responsible for administering your estate after your death.

Why should I make a Will?

You can make a Will at any time, but a Will should definitely be completed with any life changing event such as buying a home, starting a family, or moving in with your partner.  It places you in control and ensures your wishes are carried out when it comes to who inherits what, whilst protecting your loved ones and providing peace of mind. It could also prevent potential family disputes down the line.

What happens if I do not make a Will?

Not having a Will can lead to a host of problems.  If there is no Will in place, intestacy rules take over and determine who benefits from your estate meaning that it may go to people who you would not have chosen.  It could also mean that your spouse or partner may not receive as much as you would have liked or worse receive nothing at all. Not making a Will leaves your family and loved ones exposed as well as the potential of facing unnecessary costs.

What do I need to do?

Put together a list of your assets and draw up a list of beneficiaries and decide what you would like them to receive.  This can be anything from your property, money, jewellery or simply items of sentimental value.  Also choose who you would like to administer your estate after your death.  This can be a friend, family member, an accountant, or a legal representative.  Engaging the services of a qualified Solicitor who will be able to provide the necessary advice on any inheritance tax issues which may arise and ensuring your estate is distributed in an appropriate manner to minimise the chance of family disputes.