A will is a legal document that lays out your desires concerning who will inherit your estate when you die. You will also names who is responsible for carrying out these instructions when the will comes into effect. You may wish to include donations to charity as well as pinpointing who you would like your money, property and family heirlooms to go to when you pass away. It will stipulate what should happen to any dependents you are responsible for and should also contain details about your funeral arrangements.
Writing a will is the best way to ensure that your assets go to the people you want to have them and can even help to reduce your family’s potential inheritance tax liability. Doing so will ensure that any delays are limited so that your loved ones benefit as quickly as possible. If you don’t have a will in place your estate and assets may not be divided up in the way you planned.
A professional will-writing service is usually cheaper than a solicitor and will ensure that your will is legal and contains all the necessary information. If your will is straightforward, for example you will be leaving all your possessions to close family and don’t have company assets or overseas investments to consider, a professional will writer can offer a really affordable service. A broad range of companies are on hand to help you write a will at a time and in a way that is convenient for you.
If you die without a will, you will be declared to have died ‘intestate’. This means that your possessions and assets will be distributed according to the rules laid out in the Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act 2014. The risk is that those you wish to inherit your assets may not receive them.
If you live in England and Wales, the first £250,000 will go to your spouse or partner, with the remainder divided between your children. For those who do not have children, the first £450,000 goes to the spouse and the remainder is shared between surviving parents or siblings and the spouse.
If you have a partner but are not married or in a civil partnership the situation is likely to be even more complicated. Your estate would normally go to your close relations, leaving your partner to make a legal claim if he or she desired to do so. If you have no close family, your estate would most likely go to the crown if you do not have a will. Everyone should have a will, but the urgency increases if: you are married or in a civil partnership; if you have children or dependents; or if you have bought property with a partner.
It is worth remembering that if you don’t update your will after you get married or enter a civil partnership it may become invalid. If you end up getting divorced, the instructions in the will are treated as though your ex-spouse is deceased, so your estate will go to the next named beneficiaries, usually your children or close relations. It’s a good idea to review your will following any major life changes such as a marriage, divorce, death of a partner or the birth of children.
ableplan.uk is here to help you find a professional will writer, ensuring that your will is legal, up-to-date and takes all your assets into account. The will writers we work with are experienced and helpful, ensuring that you get an excellent service at an affordable price. Put your mind at rest by contacting us today to find out more.
Another option is visiting our friends at legaldocuments.co.uk to obtain a will template.