Where there’s a will, there’s a way for you to:
1. Leave your estate to the people you choose
Family and friends can often lose out if there isn’t a will. No-one knows what fate has around the corner, but sadly, many leave it too late. If someone has not made a will the rules of Intestacy apply. This could mean that your estate, or part of it, goes to someone you would not have chosen. This is particularly important if you are not married to your partner or your family includes children from previous relationships.
2. Avoid family disputes
By making a will, you can avoid family rifts or disputes and prevent expensive court costs.
3. Choose who looks after your children
If you have children under the age of 18 years you can decide in your Will who you would like to be their guardian. This means that they will be brought up by someone you know and trust.
4. Make specific bequests
You might own important or sentimental items such as jewellery, that you would like to leave to a loved one.
5. Leave a gift to a charity close to your heart
If you have not made a Will your estate might pass to distant relatives who you have not met, or even to the Crown. You might prefer a charity or charities to benefit instead, but this can only happen if you make a Will.
6. Avoid leaving your estate to a care home or the tax man
While not usually covered in a basic Will, a Will can reduce liability for Inheritance Tax and protect assets from being sold to pay care home fees. When making your Will the advisor can explain some of the options available to you.
By Richard Lane, Thomson Webb & Corfield Solicitors, Cambridge