The importance of having a Will
What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document which allows you to decide who receives your assets after you die and states who you would like to administer your estate i.e. your executors. It can also cover other issues such as funeral wishes, the appointment of guardians for young children and provision for pets to name but a few.
What if I don’t make a Will?
If you die without having made a will then the rules of intestacy will apply instead. This is a very rigid set of rules which state who would receive your estate based on their relationship to you. Unmarried partners and step children do not benefit under intestacy and so it is better to choose yourself who to benefit to ensure your wishes are followed.
Your executors are the people you choose to administer your estate and would need to deal with matters such as arranging your funeral, sorting out your personal effects, selling/ encashing assets, paying tax and any liabilities and transferring assets to your beneficiaries. This can be an onerous task so it is important that you discuss this with them before preparing your Will to ensure that the people you have chosen are willing to act.
You can also choose professional executors such as Jennifer Melly Law, or where you are appointed as an executor yourself you can seek professional advice to help you administer the estate correctly. This can be particularly helpful where there is a possible dispute, where the estate is liable to inheritance tax, where there is a business or farm involved or where there is no one who is able to take on the role for you.
These are just some of the things you need to consider when making a Will. By putting in place some simple arrangements you can make clear your wishes which can alleviate complications after your death and offer reassurance to loved ones faced with making difficult decisions on your behalf.
At Jennifer Melly Law we have a team of lawyers who specialise in preparing Wills and can discuss with you your particular situation with a view to preparing a Will to suit your needs. Please contact us on 01639 630057 for further advice.