Why make a will?
Unless you’re Hamlet, thinking about death – let alone your own death – is probably not high on your list of priorities.
Your will lets you decide what happens to your money, property and possessions after your death. It also allows you to choose someone to look after any children under the age of 18. This person will become their legal guardian until they turn 18.
If you pass away without a will, your wishes regarding who gets your belongings, and who looks after your children, may not be carried out. Also, your family could end up spending a lot of time, money, and emotional energy to settle things after you’re gone.
It’s particularly important once you’re married or have assets such as property, large sums of money or shares. With a will in place, it’s clear who’ll look after your estate and where your assets go.
It can also ensure your partner’s provided for. If you aren’t married or in a civil partnership, your partner won’t automatically inherit anything. This means if you’re lifelong partners, but you’re not married, they aren’t entitled to anything by law. Having a will in place makes sure they’ll be looked after.
By establishing trusts in your will, and making use of special tax bands, you can make sure your loved ones don’t pay any more inheritance tax than necessary.