Why do I need a Will?

There are multiple reasons why you might want to write a Will.

1. Avoid intestacy

If you die without making a Will, known as dying intestate, then your assets will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy. This will mean that the people you would like to receive your estate may not necessarily inherit it.

2. Appoint executors

Executors are the people you choose to carry out your wishes and manage your estate once you have passed away. They are responsible for collecting in your assets, paying any debts and funeral expenses and transferring any gifts to your beneficiaries. If you write a Will you can appoint people who you know and trust to act as your executors.

3. Appoint testamentary guardians

If you have minor children, you may wish to make provision in your Will for who would care for them if you were to pass away. A Will allows you to appoint guardians you trust and who your children are familiar with, offering you peace of mind. How you would like your children to be brought up can be explained in a letter of wishes accompanying the Will.

4. Provide for the people you care about

A Will allows you to make gifts to individuals who you care about and want to provide for, even those individuals who would not inherit under the rules of intestacy. If you and your partner are unmarried or not in a civil partnership they will only inherit property that you own jointly if you die without a Will. Making a Will allows you to provide for them.

5. Make funeral arrangements

Within your Will you can make your desired funeral arrangements known. This can include whether you want to be buried or cremated, where you want the funeral to take place and even whether you want flowers at your funeral or donations to a charity you’re passionate about in their place.

6. Manage inheritance tax

A carefully drafted Will can help mitigate the amount of inheritance tax you pay on your estate.

7. Gifts to charity

In your Will you can leave a legacy to any charities that you have supported or feel passionately about their cause. Any charitable gifts you make in your Will are also free from inheritance tax.

8. Trusts

Using trusts in your Will you can protect your assets such as your family home for your children while still providing for your partner during their lifetime. You can also use trusts to hold assets on behalf of a child until they reach a certain age, or to protect a beneficiary from their own improvidence.

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