Making a will is one of the most important things you will ever do to protect your family. The position for married and unmarried couples is different. Read on for some of the good reasons why.
Our experienced team draft wills for clients throughout Wiltshire, Hampshire and Dorset and further afield – from our offices in Salisbury, Andover, Fordingbridge and Amesbury.
And we offer free initial advice on the phone about wills or indeed about any other aspect of the law. And a FREE wills review appointment – with no obligation or strings attached.
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Six things that could happen if you die without making a will
- If you are married with children and the legacy you have is worth more than £125,000 your spouse will not inherit everything.
- If you are married without children, and the legacy you leave is worth more than £200,000 your spouse will not inherit everything.
- If you are living as an unmarried couple, your partner will not inherit anything and even if you own your home jointly, it may not pass automatically to him or her. An insurance policy may not pay off your joint mortgage.
- If you have stepchildren, without a Will, they will not inherit anything from you.
- If you are separated but not divorced, your husband or wife will still be entitled to inherit from you.
- You lose freedom of choice.
Six reasons why you should make a Will
- To ensure that all you own and worked hard for, ends up in the right hands.
- Because you are worth more than you think.
- If you die without a Will, all your wealth will be divided by law (under the UK intestacy rules), without regard for your personal wishes. Everything will not automatically go to your partner.
- Not leaving a Will could create problems for your family at a time when they do not need any further worry.
- If you have children, particularly if you are separated or unmarried, you can choose the person you would like to act as guardian.
- You can limit the tax burden and ensure your favourite charity benefits.
Five simple steps before making a Will
- Before you see a solicitor, list your assets and consider whom you would like to provide for and in what way.
- Consider whether you would like to leave money ‘in trust’ for children or grandchildren until they are grown up and at what age you think they should inherit.
Click here to read more about how our Trust Solicitors can help you protect your wealth
- Choose an executor to ‘wind up your affairs’. This could be your partner, a beneficiary or your solicitor, who has the knowledge and experience to make sure your wishes are fulfilled.
Click here to read more about the role of an executor in probate
- Consider whether you would like to leave some money to charity (this can minimise a tax liability).
- Do not make a homemade Will nor go to a ‘Will-writer’ who is not a solicitor. Far too many of these result in incorrect or invalid wills and often result in potential beneficiaries becoming embroiled in contesting a will – a growing trend which not only proves expensive but which can also divide families permanently.
According to a recent survey conducted by Royal London (the UK’s largest mutual insurer) , 44% of homeowners did not have a valid Will in place.
And amazingly only about 70% of British adults have valid up-to-date wills – make sure you’re not one of them. Don’t risk an unnecessary inheritance claim – if you haven’t got a will, or if your circumstances have changed recently, instruct an experienced wills solicitor – you may be surprised how little peace of mind costs.
Click to find out more about making a will