Like many of us, you may have spent your entire life striving to provide financial security for your loved ones. But if you do not have a valid will, all that hard work could go to waste – and you could be putting your legacy, and their inheritance, at risk.
Here, we’ve listed a number of reasons to have a will in place that outlines your wishes and leaves no room for misinterpretation.
As long as you are of sound mind, you can make a will. But it’s especially important to plan for the future if you have dependants - such as children under the age of 18 or relatives with special needs – or if you are married or in a civil partnership.
A will permits you to do many things that would not be possible if you were to die intestate (without a will). Your will enables you to specify the person(s) who will:
If you wish, you can also exclude certain acquaintances or family members from assuming these roles.
If you die without a will, your estate will be subject to the rules of intestacy.
Generally, the cost of managing your estate will be higher, and the person who is given authority to administer your assets will not necessarily be someone you would have chosen.
The distribution of your estate will be fixed by statute, irrespective of your intentions or the beneficiaries' needs, with all amounts paid out to heirs as soon as they turn 18 years of age. In the meantime, trustees will be limited in the scope of the investments they can choose to make on behalf of minors; the Children's Lawyer and a government appointee will administer the share for a child.
It's a common misconception that everything will be passed to your partner, your parents or your children if you don’t have a will in place. But this is rarely true. In the worst-case scenario, passing away intestate could mean that your lifelong assets are taken by the government instead.
Just as importantly, having clear guidelines in place for your estate will help to avoid any possible disputes between your relatives.
As you can see, there are plenty of benefits to having an up to date will. If you would like to discuss your estate in more detail with a will writing specialist, speak to Age Legal Services today.
Alternatively, you can take a more in-depth look at what’s involved in the will writing process by browsing through our online guide to the things you need to consider when writing a will.
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