According to a study conducted by Will Aid in 2017 a staggering 51% of British adults confirmed that they had not prepared a Will.[i] Previous reasons for not preparing a Will as recorded by Will Aid are as follows:[ii]
- Haven’t got around to it
- Nothing of value to be inherited
- Too young to make a Will
- Don’t want to think about it/death
Although some of us may relate to the reasons given above it is true that we simply do not know what the future holds. All we can try to do is prepare for the future and take the necessary steps to protect and provide for our loved ones. By preparing a Will you ensure that your assets and finances are used to support and provide for your loved ones rather than allowing the law to dictate any distributions.
If at your date of death you do not have a Will in place the law dictates that the Rules Of Intestacy apply. Such rules decide who will benefit from your estate and in what amounts. There is no concern or thought given to your wishes prior to death. In some cases where a person has died without a Will, it has been known for spouses to inherit from their husband or wife’s estate despite them having been separated for an extended period of time.
Even in the event you have made a Will it is crucial that you keep this under review. It is completely possible that your assets or family structure have changed since your Will was made. For example you may have chosen to benefit a specific group of family members (such as grandchildren) and forget to include any further grandchildren which are born after the Will is made. In this case this may mean that the grandchildren which are missed do not benefit from the estate.
Further to this a Will can be an essential tool when try to protect against the payment of inheritance tax on your death. If your assets have increased in value or you have inherited further assets it may be time to review your Will. There are many ways in which your Will can be drafted to provide for the most beneficial inheritance tax position on death.
If you wish to talk to a member of our Private Client team to consider a Will please contact our offices on 01226 210000 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our experienced team will be happy to discuss your options and answer any questions you may have.