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The importance of making a Will

| Published on August 12, 2016

Laura Edwards, Private Client Solicitor at Humphries Kirk Parkstone, explains the importance of making a Will and why you should ensure that you have one in place.

What is a Will and why should I make one?

A Will is a document that tells your family and friends what should happen to your assets after you have died. It prevents your estate being distributed under the intestacy rules and lets your family and friends know who you want to inherit your assets and possessions.

It can also assist in avoiding family disputes and reduce the costs in administering your estate, save inheritance tax, and preserve assets. Having a Will reduces some of the stress on your family and friends at a very difficult time.

Who should make a Will?

Everybody over the age of 18 should make a Will. It is also important to bear in mind the following:

Marriage – when you get married any existing Will you have is cancelled and a new one must be made (unless it has been made in contemplation of marriage).

Cohabitees – if you are cohabiting with someone, they will not benefit from your estate under intestacy rules. Therefore your Will should ensure that your partner benefits from your estate.

Children – if you have children under the age of 18 a guardian can be named in your Will. If you have not appointed a guardian then the court will decide who looks after your children in the event of your passing.

Separation/divorce – consider making a new Will if you have separated from your spouse; remember that any gift made to a spouse is no longer valid once you are divorced.

Stepfamilies – if you have remarried and want to ensure that your own children are provided for, consider including a trust in your Will so they benefit from your estate.

What if I already have a Will?

It is important to review your Will regularly.

There have been a number of changes to the law in recent years, the most recent being the introduction of the Main Residence Nil Rate Band. It is therefore important to ensure that your Will is drafted in the most tax efficient way to ensure that you benefit from any of these changes.

Why should I use a legal professional to prepare my Will?

Drafting your own Will can lead to mistakes and confusion. It is essential to ensure that your Will is accurately drafted and validly executed. A solicitor can assist you with this and ensure that your Will is drafted in a tax efficient way.

If you require further information in relation to Wills, please contact Laura Edwards on 01202 715815. Take advantage of Humphries Kirk’s Will Week from 19 to 23 September and make a Will during this period to receive 40% discount.

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