Why make a Will?
I am often asked “When is the right time to make a Will?” There are obvious circumstances when individuals think about making or even changing their Will.
The most common scenarios I am faced with are:
After having a child
When you have had a child you may want to ensure appropriate guardians are included in your Will in the event you or your partner passes away.
Buying a property
If you want to ensure a cohabitee, who perhaps isn’t invested in the property, has a right to live there for their lifetime whilst ensuring the capital for named beneficiaries or children remains protected.
This is a fantastic mechanism for the preservation of capital for other family members, whist ensuring the person with the benefit (life tenant) has a roof over their heads (subject to paying the outgoings). With the increase in second marriages, this type of request is becoming more popular.
If you are a business owner
A business owner may want to ensure their business is disposed of in a tax efficient manner or again to ensure an individual inherits the business on their death.
The breakdown of a marriage or relationship is another important time to make a Will. If you were to die before the divorce is finalised, your soon to be ex-spouse, will inherit your estate (or at least the first £250,000).
In contrast, if you are engaged, you can make a Will now that remains valid post-marriage. Many people do not realise that marriage cancels any Will previously made, unless it is specified to have been made in contemplation of marriage.
Without a Will, many of these circumstances would go unaccounted for. The rules of intestacy would apply and the next of kin may be responsible for administering and receiving your estate, something which may be undesirable.
If you would like to review your Will, make a new one or discuss estate planning generally please contact our First Contact team on 01256 320555 and if you quote this article we can offer you a complimentary 30 minute appointment to see me or one of my colleagues in the Wills and Estate Planning Team.
Wills & Estate Planning Solicitor