Reasons to make a Will

August 9, 2023

A Will is a legal document that sets out instructions for who will inherit your estate and what should happen after you die.

A Will is a legal document that sets out instructions for who will inherit your estate and what should happen after you die.

Surprisingly, three in five adults in the UK have not written a Will. This equates to 59% of the UK adult population whose property, finances and other assets could be left to someone they have not chosen when they die.

Here are some of the reasons why it is important to make a Will:

1. To ensure that your children are financially provided for and looked after.

When writing a Will, you can state who should look after your dependents and if they are under 18, you can appoint legal guardians for them to ensure this responsibility is not left to someone you do not want to raise your children. You may also want to make plans to provide for their future financially, for example, setting up a trust for your children so you can control when they receive money and what it is used for. Our team of solicitors can provide specialist advice on such trusts and how they work.

2. To provide for other dependents, such as stepchildren and foster children.

Under the Intestacy Rules, ‘children’ includes legally adopted children but not stepchildren. Therefore, if you and your partner aren’t married, your stepchildren will not inherit any of your estate unless you say so in a Will. The same goes for foster children or any other dependents who may rely on you.

3. To protect an unmarried partner.

Even if you have been in a relationship with your partner for a very long time, unmarried partners are not entitled to anything from your estate unless you specifically state so in a Will.

4. To safeguard your family home.

If the family home is in your name, as mentioned above, unmarried partners or stepchildren do not automatically inherit it, even if it has been their family home for some time. You can leave a share of your property in your Will, or a right to reside in your property so that you have peace of mind that their home is not taken away from them.

5. To avoid paying more tax than necessary.

A Will can help reduce the amount of inheritance tax that you might have to pay on the assets you leave behind. We can provide advice on the most tax-efficient way to prepare your Will.

6. To reduce the chance of a family dispute.

Sadly, arguments can occur following the death of a loved one, especially if there is no Will or wishes are not made clear. A well-prepared Will can help to avoid these arguments.

7. To make gifts.

If you want to make a gift from your assets, this will need to be written into a Will. The intestacy rules determine who inherits your estate based upon family connections and therefore the rules would not take any other relationships, such as friendships or who you deem to be most in need, into account. You may also wish to leave a donation to a charity, and this can be written into your Will.

8. To decide who you would like to settle your affairs.

Within your Will, you can name an executor(s) who will be in charge of carrying out your final wishes. Choosing this person in advance allows you to select the person who you believe to be the best for the task.

9. To decide who looks after your pets.

You can stipulate who you would like to look after your pets in your Will, as well as leaving some money aside to feed them and look after their health. 

You can change your mind at any time and remake your will whilst you are alive. Certain life events, such as births, deaths, marriage or divorce can create situations where remaking your Will is necessary.

Our team of solicitors are here to offer their expert advice on making a new Will. Contact us today on 01642 252555 to make an appointment.