Write a will – the best legacy you can leave for your loved ones
Posted on 15th March 2018
Many of us don’t think we have enough assets to worry about making a will. However, once you have added together your home, your business, car, pension, savings, insurance, jewellery or valuable equipment you might have for your hobbies and interests you could be surprised at the overall value.
It’s also common to assume that anything we have will automatically go to our partner or children. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.
There are now many blended families that can make inheritance very complicated. By writing a will and being very clear about your choices you can spare those closest to you a great deal of worry and concern.
If you have a partner but have chosen not to marry, they will not automatically inherit anything from you. You might have discussed what you would like, but it’s important to include this in a properly constructed will.
Your will can include arrangements for the care and guardianship of your children or step-children along with financial plans for them. While mothers automatically have parental responsibility, there are circumstances where fathers who aren’t named on the birth certificate will not automatically be responsible for their children. If there isn’t a will in these situations the courts will decide what happens to the children.
You can also include arrangements for your pets in a will. This might not seem like a high priority, but if your friends and family don’t know what you want, it can cause them a great deal of concern.
Your funeral wishes can be included too. While it might be tempting to say “I really don’t care”, those left behind will want to make suitable arrangements. You will make the task at this sad time very much easier by including what you would like to happen in your will.
Your will can say who you want to handle your financial and other wishes. You can name trusted friends of family members. Alternatively, you can appoint a bank or solicitors, but you should be aware that fees will be charged, and this can be a costly option.
Finally, if you don’t leave a will you are ‘intestate’. This means that your estate will be handled according to very strict laws and inheritance tax will be paid at 40% on everything you leave above £325,000 (up to £425,000 if you own your primary residence). However, you can include options in your will to reduce this figure, including leaving your family home to your children or grandchildren.
If you would like some advice on any of these considerations please get in touch.
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