You decide what happens with your estate when you die
It may seem obvious, but not everyone realises the implications of dying without having left a Will. Your assets will be distributed in accordance with the rules of intestacy and your loved ones may be prevented from inheriting from your estate. By leaving a Will you get to decide precisely how your assets are to be distributed upon your death.
- You determine who will manage your estate
When you write a Will, not only do you choose what happens to your estate, but you get to choose who manages your estate- this person is called your “executor”. Being an executor is an important job, so you should choose someone you trust to carry out the wishes of your Will. Your executor will have the responsibility for things like closing bank accounts or liquidating assets. If you don’t choose an executor, there is a risk when the court chooses one for you.
- You can provide instructions for your funeral
Although leaving funeral instructions does not make the executor legally bound, you can lessen the stress and burden on your loved ones by giving them guidance on how you would like this to take place. You can name a funeral executor to manage the process, make specific requests for your final resting place and give suggestions of the location.
- You can support a charity
It is very common for people to leave a legacy in their Will to support a cause that would otherwise not have taken place if the estate followed the rules of intestacy. You can list charities in your Will and as long as sufficiently defined, your executor will have a duty to carry out this legacy.
- You can minimise family disputes
Unfortunately, the distribution of an estate often causes tension and dispute among family members and loved ones in an already challenging time. Minimising disputes is one of the main reasons for writing a Will. With a Will drafted clearly and coherently, family members will be able to see exactly who you intended to benefit from your estate.
- You can look out for your partner
Due to the somewhat traditional viewpoint of the rules of intestacy, there are no provisions for even the most long-standing of partners to inherit from your estate. If you are not married or in a civil partnership, your partner will be entitled to nothing. Through drafting a Will, your true wishes can be followed despite other certain legalities (e.g. marriage) not taking place in your lifetime.
- You can choose who you want to disinherit
Through the ordinary rules of intestacy, an individual who you would not want to inherit may be entitled to inherit from your estate. By drafting a clear Will, you can carefully choose exactly who is to inherit from your estate to prevent this falling to certain individuals.
- You can make it straightforward for your family in relation to specific items
Where there is no Will, there is often a family dispute over who is entitled to inherit from more specific items you own- for instance, a jewellery box. You can draft a Will to leave no room for error here and make it clear for your loved ones who is to receive this jewellery box.
- You can attempt to predict the unpredictable
When writing a Will, not only do you get to choose a loved one to inherit from your estate, but you get to choose who is to inherit from your estate if this loved one predecease you. This way, your estate will not fall into intestacy and your legacy can be left to the person you thought should be next in line.
You can minimise inheritance tax due on your death
There are certain ways in which you can ensure that the maximum amount possible of your estate goes to your loved ones and is not paid in tax. For instance, where your estate is left to your spouse, this will be entirely free of inheritance tax. This does not apply however to all family members, so it may be a good idea to take advice for inheritance tax planning purposes.
Secure your legacy and make an appointment with one of our experienced estate planning consultants. Call our estate planning team on 0330 175 1234 or click the link below to fill in our online form.
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