I don't need a Will, my family will sort it out for themselves…. Won't they?

It is estimated that approximately 60% of adults do not have a Will in place, which is a fairly alarming statistic. This may be for a whole range of reasons, however a common misconception is that you do not need a Will if you have a small estate or simple family arrangement.

Unfortunately, family disputes on the death of a relative are all too common, particularly in cases where the deceased did not leave a valid Will. Even where the family structure is simple and seemingly have a good relationship, the stress of losing a loved one can mean that individuals are not in the right frame of mind to make clear and logical decisions. 

Inevitably, such a disagreement can lead to each party appointing their own legal representation which can delay the distribution of the estate over a number of years and result in a high level of legal costs, sometimes running into hundreds of thousands of pounds. Such costs are frequently paid for by the estate meaning the end distribution is significantly lower as a result.

Taking the time to put a properly drafted Will in place along with a letter of wishes should remove any uncertainty regarding the distribution of your estate and avoid any potential beneficiaries fighting for what they deem to be a 'fair share'.Once a Will is in place, it is equally important that it is reviewed on a regular basis and in particular at any 'life events' such as marriage, divorce or the birth of children/grandchildren.

For advice on drafting a new Will, updating an existing Will, inheritance tax planning or assistance with probate, please contact your local Perrys branch.

Article written by Craig Harman