Making a Will – always a good time!
I will not ask you about your new year’s resolutions, but with Spring in the air and all its positive vibes, now is as good a time as any to think about making those Wills you’ve always put off.
Making a Will allows you to leave clear instructions about how your estate is to be distributed, choosing those who are to receive from you and those you want to administer that all for you (your executors). Most importantly, perhaps, you take control for your loved ones.
According to one source, it has been suggested that more than half of parents in the UK with children under 18 have not made a Will. People tend not to link the thought of guardianship for their children with sorting out who gets what of their possessions in the event of their death. Yet children are of course more valuable than any possessions.
A Will can be used to nominate who should look after your children if the worst happens to you by appointing a guardian. If both parents die without having appointed a guardian, it may be left to the courts to decide with whom your child will spend their most formative years. At worst it may lead to family disputes at a time already fraught with emotional distress.
A Will makes it much easier for your family or friends to sort everything out when you die. Without a will the process can be more time consuming and stressful.
Finally, a Will can help reduce the amount of inheritance tax that might be payable on the value of the property and money you leave behind.
Inheritance tax is currently charged at 40% on the net value of your estate above the relevant tax-free thresholds. Net value means that debts and liabilities are deducted.
Janine Heil, Partner, Leigh Duncan Solicitors