10 Reasons You Should Make a Will Now

Wednesday 03 June 2015, 06:30 AM

Andy Leeks
Accounts and budding author , LifeSearch

So what is a will? Put simply, a will is a document that tells everyone what should happen to your money, possessions and property after you die (all of these things together are called your 'estate'). If you don't leave a will, the law decides how your estate is passed on ('intestate'), and this may not be in line with your wishes.
Worryingly, around 60,000 estates each year are 'intestate', which makes up almost 25% of the annual total. 

While almost 75% of the population are said to have a will by the time they are 65, that still leaves a sizeable number uncovered, not to mention those who die young.

So, to ensure that your wishes are carried out, you should be thinking about taking out a will, and if you haven't been convinced yet, check out our top reasons for taking out a will.

1. As we've mentioned, a will lets you leave clear instructions about how your estate is to be distributed. Without one it is subject to the intestacy rules and may not go to the people you would have chosen.

2. If you die without leaving a will and have no spouse or children, your parents or siblings may inherit your estate, even if you'd prefer it to go elsewhere.

3. A will allows you to make specific bequests to individuals. These can range from items of jewellery to sums of cash.

4. Without a will, your family could face a larger inheritance tax bill than necessary as a will can help with the tax-planning process.

5. Unmarried partners may not receive anything from your estate, unless you have made a will in their favour.

6. If you have remarried, a will can ensure any children from your first marriage get a share of your estate.

7. A will lets you choose your own executors. If you die without one, your closest relatives will need to apply for 'letters of administration'.

8. A will lets you appoint guardians to look after your children if they are under 18, until they come of age. You can also make financial arrangements for their benefit.

9. If your estate is divided according to the intestacy rules, your spouse or civil partner may not receive as much as you would have intended them to. 

10. The absence of a will can often lead to family disputes.

Have you made a will? It would be great to hear your reasons for taking one out, or perhaps why you haven't got around to it yet.




Related articles

Trending articles

Newsletter sign up