Death is something that most people don’t like to think about. However it is something that should be planned for. The best way to do this is by making a Will.
A Will is a legal document which sets out your wishes in relation to how your affairs are to be dealt with following your death. It is important to emphasise that the provisions of a Will do not take effect until after your death.
Every adult, regardless of the amount of property or money they have, should make a Will. The terms of your Will should be thought out carefully and it is something that should be contemplated by adults of all age groups.
Why make a Will?
- Control over who is to inherit your property- making a Will allows you to decide who is to inherit your property once you die. If you die without having made a Will, your Estate is distributed on the basis of set rules and your wishes are not considered.
- Maximise tax efficiency- any inheritance above the current tax free threshold is taxed at 33%. Making a Will gives you the opportunity to create a Trust which can manage your Estate over time and in the most tax efficient way.
- Appoint testamentary guardians- This is of particular importance for couples who have young children. Making a Will allows you to appoint a Guardian of your choice should you suffer an untimely death.
- Peace of Mind- Once a Will is made your wishes are safeguarded. If you have a child who has a disability you can make sure that your child’s future is provided for following your death.
If you have made a Will previously, it is also vitally important that you review your Will on a regular basis and particularly if your circumstances have changed since your last Will was made for example if you have separated. In addition it is important to note that if you have recently married, any previous Wills are automatically revoked.
While there is no requirement for a solicitor to make your Will, it is advisable to seek legal advice. Your solicitor will advise you of the best way to distribute your property or provide for your children’s future in the most tax efficient way.