- To Provide Security For Your Family
If you fail to make a Will your assets will be dealt with on your death in accordance with the Intestacy Rules which may not at all suit the requirements of you or your family.
For example: it is widely, but incorrectly, believed that a spouse would automatically inherit everything. This mistaken idea can cause great difficulties and distress for a surviving spouse. In fact, on an Intestacy a spouse may only receive a small portion of the estate. Any children may have a share in a further portion and a tiresome and unsatisfactory life trust may be imposed on the remainder of the estate.
- To Provide For Friends And Loved Ones
Only by making a Will can you provide for friends, loved ones and others who are not related to you but for whom you feel responsible: for example unmarried partners, step-children who have not been adopted and close friends.
- To Make Specific Gifts
Your Will can specify exactly how particular assets (jewellery, possessions, investments) are to be divided on your death.
- To Appoint Executors
Only if you make a Will can you appoint expressly the persons who are to deal with the administration of your estate.
- To Minimise Taxes Payable On Death
When making your Will it may also be advantageous for you to consider possible inheritance tax saving arrangements. Please ask us to advise as to this.
- To Appoint Guardians For Your Children
Your Will can appoint guardians for any children who are under the age of 18. If both you and your spouse were to die, your young children would need a guardian. If you have not appointed one then there may be delay uncertainty and perhaps disagreement and an application to the Court might be necessary to resolve matters.
Also, if your Will was made some time ago it would be prudent to review it now and see if it is still appropriate.
- Upon Marriage
A marriage automatically revokes any previous Will unless the Will provides otherwise. If you are planning to get married, you will wish to make a Will to protect your proposed spouse and it can contain the appropriate clause to prevent the automatic revocation. If you require, the Will can also be made conditional on the marriage taking place.
- If You Have Children By A Previous Marriage
Any children you may have by a previous marriage may require special arrangements to protect their position following any further marriage you may enter into. If this is applicable in your circumstances it is important not to delay making a new Will, and ideally you should make the Will before the new marriage. Any failure to make a Will to protect children by a previous marriage could result in serious injustice to them.
- Upon Divorce
A divorce automatically revokes any provisions in your Will relating to your former spouse unless the Will provides otherwise. However it would be sensible to make a new Will providing fresh arrangements as soon as it is clear that a divorce is inevitable: do not wait for the legal proceedings which may be delayed. Also after the final divorce it will be sensible to reconsider your Will and make a fresh one if appropriate.
- Changing Assets
If the value of your assets increases or decreases substantially it will be desirable to look again at your Will and see if it is still appropriate in your changed circumstances.
- When You Start A Family
When you have children it will be especially important to make a Will or review any previous Will: you will want to make sure that you have made proper provision for your children and where necessary to appoint guardians.
- If You Acquire Business Assets
When you start a business you need to consider its impact on your estate in the event of your death and perhaps to remake your Will to allow for the altered circumstances.
No charge is made by us for the storage of Wills and nor have we ever made any charge for this service, although naturally we reserve the right to review our policy as to this in the future; but this would not occur unless we had given you ample notice.
If you are elderly or housebound and live within a reasonable distance of our offices a home visit can easily be arranged.
See also Services for the retired & elderly
If you would like to have a copy of our leaflet, MAKING YOUR WILL, please contact us.
When the Grant of Probate or administration has been received the assets in the estate can be processed: encashment of investments, sale of house and other items as necessary, payment of any liabilities, transfers to beneficiaries and the requirements of the Will carried out. Also Inland Revenue income tax matters can be attended to; final accounts prepared and final reports made to beneficiaries etc.
We are able to act for you in connection with all the above and other Probate matters. Also, we can advise as to the possibility of varying the terms of the Will (with the consent of all relevant persons) with the object of saving either immediate or possible future inheritance tax.
- The articles in these pages are provided for the purpose of background information only. They do not constitute analysis of the law or legal advice to any person. You should consult us expressly for advice and assistance regarding any matters which concern you; and you should not take or fail to take any step merely on the basis of the information provided here and without such advice and assistance.
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