Do I really need a Will?

In answer to the question, do I really need a will, it is a fact that less than half of the adult population have a valid Will. There are a number of reasons people don’t make a Will.  We often hear people say that they don’t have anything valuable to leave, or that they think their loved ones will benefit anyway. Most of us would rather not think about our own death and perhaps this is the main reason many of us haven’t made a Will.  That, along with the worry of the financial implications of making a will, is a reason why so called ‘DIY Wills’ are becoming more and more popular.

An ‘off the shelf solution’ may initially appear more attractive largely because of the cost.   However, the use of a homemade Will carries a real risk that the Will will not do what you actually intended it to do or worse, may be entirely invalid. This could result in a hefty legal bill for your family in order to rectify any mistakes made. Solicitors are trained to understand the complexities involved with Will writing.  We are able to give appropriate advice leaving both you and your family with peace of mind, and making sure the people you want to benefit from your estate do so.

So when we get asked the question ‘Do I really need a Will?’ Our answer is always yes, for a number of reasons:

  1. It is the only way of ensuring that the people you want to benefit actually do inherit from your estate. If you die without making a will, the Intestacy Rules apply. This may lead to your spouse having to share your estate with your children who you may not have intended to benefit straightaway.
  2. At present the Intestacy Rules do not recognise cohabitees. If you live with your partner and die without making a Will, your partner will not automatically inherit any of your estate. Your partner may have a claim on the estate, but this is expensive and a situation that should be avoided.
  3. You can appoint a guardian to care for any of your children who are under the age of 18.
  4. Tax planning for a married couple – careful drafting of a Will can ensure that inheritance tax (IHT) is kept to a minimum.
  5. Trusts – under a carefully drawn up Will you can set up trusts for a number of reasons including to benefit a beneficiary living with disabilities.

Simply put, writing a Will provides family members with clarity at an emotionally distressing time, and gives you peace of mind that your family are looked after.

Bryan & Armstrong Solicitors have an experienced wills and probate department that are here to advise you if you are in a situation like this. Please contact Catherine Walker or Lauren Griffiths if you have further queries on 01623 624505.