Each year the Government reap a staggering £25million in unclaimed estates. Making a Will is the only way of ensuring your wishes are carried out. This leaves you and your loved ones with peace of mind and certainty for the future.
If you die without a Will you are deemed to have died ‘intestate’. The law sets out that property belonging to an intestate person is inherited according to a strict set of rules known as the ‘intestacy rules’. These rules dictate who will benefit from your estate. Potentially your estate could pass to a family member who you are estranged from, or worse if your family cannot be located, it could pass to the Government.
If you die without a Will your closest living relative won’t necessarily inherit your entire estate. Leaving it to chance is simply not an option.
By making a Will you can appoint who you want to be in charge of administering your estate. This person is known as your Executor and can be a family member, friend or someone completely independent like a professional. Your Executor will be responsible for collecting your assets, settling debts, finalising tax affairs and distributing your assets in accordance with your wishes. Your Executor will also be responsible for arranging your funeral and your Will can detail any specific funeral wishes that you may have.
You should consider who you want to benefit after your death. Thought should be given to those persons who are financially dependant upon you. We can give you guidance on this point.
For those of you who have infant children you should make a Will appointing guardians for them and make clear what your wishes are relating to the health and welfare of your children for example, who will look after them and any views you have relating to religion and education etc. You may also want to make provision for pets.
We live in a time where family dynamics and assets can be complex – people are involved in second marriages and may have children from different relationships. We all need to consider providing proper financial support to those loved ones that are financially dependant upon us to avoid unnecessary conflict between family members and financial claims being made against our estate after our death.
Carefully drafted wills can also ensure that your loved ones get the benefit of your wealth without it effecting any state benefits they receive, or your wealth being wiped out in payment of your loved ones care fees in the event they require care in the future.
We have a friendly and expert team of practitioners ready to offer advice and assistance to you. Contact us to arrange an appointment. We are one of the few firms in this area that are able to prepare Wills under the Legal Help scheme. We will apply for legal aid on your behalf where appropriate.