A will is a legally binding document that details your wishes, in regards to the inheritance of your estate when you die. A will can include specific arrangements for the passing on of heirlooms to family members, and who should be responsible for carrying out your requests in the event of your death. A recent study found that two thirds of adults in the UK have not written a will. The reason for this shocking statistic is unknown, but it is thought that many are unaware of the benefits of writing a will, and the impact it will have on insuring your wishes regarding your estate when you die, are fulfilled.
Creating a will is the best way to ensure that assets, or possessions that you wish to pass on to loved ones, are passed on to the correct people. By writing a will, you also eliminate any issues regarding inheritance tax, as the details regarding this will be recorded in the will. This ensures that friends and family will face less complications at an already difficult time, regarding the tax that needs to be paid when inheriting your estate. A will can also include information detailing what should happen to any children that you are responsible for in the event of your death, and any funeral arrangements that you may have.
If you die without a will, you are considered intestate, this means that any assets you have will be distributed in line with the Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act 2014. This could mean that your wishes regarding your assets in the event of your death may not be fulfilled, and the people that you wish to inherit these, may be unable to. For example, if you are a UK resident married with children, and your estate is worth over £250,000, your partner will only receive £250,000. The remainder of the estate will also be inherited by your partner, but they will only receive half of the remaining estate. This will be subject to a life interest, and means that your partner will be unable to spend this, instead they will only be entitled to the interest that is accumulated. The remaining value of the estate will be inherited by any children that you may have. However, if your estate is worth less than £250,000 then your children will not be entitled to anything. If you are a single person with no children, then any family members will be allowed to inherit various shares of your estate. This means that you would have no control over which family members took shares of the estate. If no family members were to claim any of your estate, then the government would be legally allowed to claim this.
It is recommended that you employ the services of professional will writers to ensure your will is legally binding. You will be able to provide all of the information and details that you wish to include, and rest assured that your will is legally and correctly written, and that your estate is distributed the way you want it to be.