‘Peace of mind, today, tomorrow and always’
Taking steps to ensure that our assets and our businesses are protected in the event of our deaths and even more importantly, that our families and loved ones are cared for as we would have wished, is something most people keep meaning to get around to and yet so often never do. They do not know who to approach, or they simply do not have the time in their busy lives.
Dying intestate, i.e. without a Will, can cause tremendous complications for your family. This is particularly relevant where you have young children as without the nomination of a legal guardian within your Will, they could be made wards of court. To protect your children and your spouse and to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes, it is essential that you have a Will.
There are at least six excellent reasons why you should make a Will…
- You can choose who should inherit your property, your money and your possessions
Throughout our lives, we all accumulate possessions and usually a certain amount of money and property too. On death, this package of assets is known as an ‘Estate’. If you die without making a Will, the law will decide what happens to your Estate. Arrangements or agreements (for example with family) to share out the Estate after your death have no weight in law and commonly held beliefs that the spouse or common law partner will automatically inherit are simply incorrect and can cause real heartache. A Will is the only way to choose exactly how your Estate should be divided. Making a Will also prevents disagreements or arguments between relatives.
- You can appoint Guardians for young children
It is difficult – but essential – to face the possibility that young children could be left without parents to care for them. However, it is even less pleasant to consider the consequences of not making these important plans. Who would you want to look after your children if you were to die? If you do not decide, the local authorities and courts will decide for you. Their idea of the ‘best’ carer for your children may be very different from yours. Be aware too that an unmarried father does not automatically become Guardian to his own children. A professionally drafted Will ensures that your children will be cared for as you choose in the event of your early death.
- You can even save tax after you die!
Inheritance Tax is the duty payable on what you leave behind when you die. No-one wants to pay more than their fair share to the tax man, so a Will ensures that your Estate is as tax efficient as possible. Saving unnecessary tax leaves more money to be shared as you wish. You may even avoid paying Inheritance Tax altogether.
- You can establish Trusts to protect young or less able beneficiaries.
Trusts are a helpful way of protecting young or immature heirs; they guard inheritances until the children are old enough to make informed decisions about their money. Trusts also allow you to plan financial security for disabled children.
- You can plan for the care of family pets or leave money to charity.
Treasured family pets can be provided for in your Will. You can appoint carers or make a legacy to meet their needs. Your Will may also include tax-free bequests to your favourite charities.
- Do you want to protect the value of your home?
Sadly, we hear all too often of cases where the value of a house has been used to pay for residential care fees, leaving nothing for the family. This can have a far more crippling effect on your estate than Inheritance Tax. Any surviving spouse or partner could change their Will, after remarriage, to disinherit your children. Correctly drafting your Will to include property trusts can alleviate these problems and also protect the value of your home for your children.
“Remember! Your Will is one of the most important documents you will ever possess.”
Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA)
Have you ever considered what might happen if you or a loved one was unable to make important decisions regarding your welfare, or your bank accounts or even the payments of your bills or mortgage?
As described by the DirectGov website:
A Lasting Power of Attorney can help you plan how your health, wellbeing and financial affairs will be looked after. It allows you to plan in advance:
- The decisions you want to be made on your behalf if you lose capacity to make them yourself.
- The people you want to make these decisions
- How you want the people to make these decisions
The products and services promoted here are not part of the Openwork offering and are offered in our own right. Openwork accept no responsibility for this aspect of our business. Will Writing is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.