1. To provide for your family. This is probably the most obvious one but many people are under the illusion that their spouse will inherit everything from them automatically – this is most often not the case.
2. To avoid an intestacy. This is what happens if you die without a valid Will. There is a ‘pecking order’ of who is entitled to what and this is laid down by legislation.
3. To appoint Guardians for your children. Can you think of anything worse than children losing both parents and then being placed in the hands of Social Services – probably with foster parents – because you didn’t choose who should look after them?
4. To appoint Executors and Trustees. These are the people you trust to deal with the administration of your Estate after you’ve gone and to deal with any monies to be held in Trust for children or other more complex arrangements.
5. To incorporate planning of your Estate. This is often relevant to mitigate Inheritance Tax and also potential Long Term Care fees.
6. To ensure gifts of money or items are made. There may be gifts of money or items that you want to leave to specific members of the family, or friends, or legacies to charities. These need to be documented in a valid Will.
7. To cover any special circumstances. These could be situations where there is an extended family through a second or third marriage, step-children or children with learning difficulties to provide for.
8. To cover unmarried partners. One of the most common problems is where a couple live together but are not married as the law doesn’t guarantee they will inherit from their partner.
9. To avoid potential delays. Where there is a Will the administration of an Estate can be dealt with much quicker and smoother as your wishes are fully documented and there is no need to go searching for lost relatives or potential beneficiaries.
10. To achieve PEACE OF MIND. If you’ve never made a Will before or if you have and are reviewing and updating an old Will, the peace of mind you will feel when it has been completed is immeasurable.
The above 10 reasons represent the most common reasons for making or updating a Will. There are others not mentioned here. Whatever your reasons are, don’t put it off – put it in hand now. Just one phone call to Parchment Solicitors to make an appointment and we can help you achieve peace of mind.