New Year resolution: make a Will
We are well into January and there's no doubt new gym memberships, fitness DVDs and juicers are being well used as many of us resolve to make a healthy start to the year.
But whether you're battling the Christmas bulge or not, all of us should ensure that making a Will is among our resolutions. Whether you own assets worth £1,000,000 or £100, a Will is hugely important.
This vital document makes sure your worldly belongings go to who they were intended, and can save heartache at a time when your loved ones are already dealing with grief and loss.
At Perrys we advise all our clients to have a legally-binding Will in place and, for those that do already, to make sure it is up to date.
Why Wills are so important
A Will is the legally binding document that gives instruction as to what should happen to your estate and finances when you die. It provides the clear cut answers as to what should happen to your belongings when you pass – and ensures your wishes are carried out.
Without one there can be huge complications for family and loved ones who then face protracted negotiations and lengthy dealings to sort out your estate – which can end up going to the government or being passed to unintended beneficiaries.
Depending on the complexity of your estate it can be relatively straight forward and we would be happy to guide you through the process.
What happens without one?
Without a Will your estate and assets will be distributed according to law – which could see your loved ones missing out on items you may have intended for them.
Under current laws in England and Wales a surviving partner who wasn't married to or in a civil partnership with the deceased does not automatically inherit their estate. It will instead be shared equally among the deceased's children or go to their descendants.
If the deceased does not have any close relatives, their estate can end going to the government.
Dying without a Will could also mean your estate is divvied up in a way that is not as tax efficient as if you had one.
How to get one
It is possible to write your own Will using a 'DIY' kit, however, we would always recommend you speak to a professional as a simple mistake could have unintended consequences.
They will also cover areas such as any benefits you wish to make to children under 18 and who you wish to be their legal guardian until they come of age, as well as any specific wishes you have for your funeral.
If you already have a Will it is important to keep it updated. Your relationship status can have an effect on an existing Will and you should consider adding to or re-drafting it if you have children, grandchildren or acquire new property.
Our specialist team of advisors is on hand to help anyone draw up their first Will, or update an existing document. We can also store your Will safely, giving you peace of mind that it is in safe hands.
For more information about our services click here.