Let’s face it, no one likes thinking about his or her own mortality. But making a Will is one of the most important things you will ever do..
Put simply, making a Will is the only way you can guarantee that your property passes to the people you want it to – and that any children are left in the care of guardians of your choosing. A Will can be relatively simple in content, but it is useful to seek the advice of solicitors specialising in Wills.
The top reasons you need a will:
- You can decide how your estate is distributed. Without a Will, there is no guarantee that your desires will be carried out after your death. A Will is legally binding and therefore reduces the chance of disputes and states exactly what goes where, when and to whom. Without a Will, the court will follow the Laws of Intestacy, as shown here.
- A Will gives you the opportunity to make informed decisions about the care of any minor children that you may have. If you know who you would like to raise your children, you should ensure this is in your Will. Without this, the court will decide between family members or a state-appointed guardian.
- All estates go through the probate process, but if you have a Will in place this reduces the amount of time that it takes. Probate courts ‘administer your estate’ and if you die without a Will, the court has to decide how to divide your estate, which can cause long delays that could have been prevented.
- Planning your estate and detailing this in a Will can help to reduce inheritance tax. For example, making gifts and donations or setting up trusts can help to reduce inheritance taxes. A Wills and probate solicitor will help to ensure your Will is as tax efficient as possible.
- You can choose who will be the executor/s of your Will and will wind up the affairs of your estate. This will include notifying your bank and other establishments of your death, paying bills, canceling credit cards and accounts etc. This is an extremely important role and you should appoint someone (who may or may not be a member of your family) who can manage these tasks.
- Without a Will, the court will share your assets in the standard legal way (see our overview of laws of Intestacy here), which may mean that your estate goes to someone you did not intend. A Will allows you to disinherit individuals and specify exactly how you would like assets to be distributed.
- A Will can be changed! Your Will can be updated at any time while you’re still alive. This means that any life changes such as births, divorces, deaths and their related circumstances can be incorporated into your Will and wishes after your death. As your life changes, it is prudent to seek advice on Wills and trusts from Will writing solicitors.
You never know what tomorrow brings. Many people do not want to accept death and therefore procrastinate when it comes to writing a Will and planning their estate. Having a Will reduces the stress on family at an already emotional time and ensures you have a plan in place for children or other family members that rely on you financially.
- Simple Will for one person - from £275
- Simple ‘mirror’ Wills (ie husband/wife) - from £375
- Single Will incorporating a straight forward Trust - from £400
- Mirror Wills incorporating straight forward Trusts - from £500
- Specialist Wills - anything more complicated and/or where extensive tax planning advice is required will be costed on a time-spent basis
- No annual storage fee
All costs are subject to VAT.
Here at Cozens-Hardy we have a hugely experienced and friendly team of solicitors who can guide you through the process of making a Will as well as advise on other critically important issues for you and your family, such as:
- Care home fees
- Administration of estates (we work closely with our clients to ensure that administration of their estates occurs according to their wishes and in the most tax efficient way)
- Living Wills
- Lasting Powers of Attorney (where you can appoint someone to manage your affairs)
- Applications to the Court of Protection (to make decisions on behalf of someone who lacks capacity)
- Inheritance tax planning
- Tax planning for family owned businesses
- Care of the elderly
Our specialist solicitors are here to help you make sensible provision for you and your family in the future. Life is for living – let us help you resolve matters now, so you can get on and live your life.
Call for a no obligation chat – contact us in confidence.