A Will is a legal document which is made during your lifetime while you still have mental capacity. This means that to make a Will you must be living and understand the nature and consequences of signing the document. Your Will sets out what you would like to happen to your estate when you die (including your money, property and possessions). It states who you would like to act as guardian, to take care of your children. You can also express your funeral wishes and make provisions for the care of your pets. Also, you will be able to choose the most appropriate people to act as your Executors, to administer your estate after you have passed away.
Why Should I Have A Will?
If you were to pass away without making a Will, you will have died ‘intestate’. Rather than being distributed in accordance with your wishes, your estate will be distributed in accordance with a set of rules known as the ‘Rules of Intestacy’. This has a number of implications as follows:
If you have named an executor in your Will, that person will be entitled to apply for a Grant of Probate when you pass away. This allows them to deal with your property and your money so that they may distribute the estate in accordance with your wishes. If you do not have a Will, the Rules of Intestacy will determine who can deal with your estate. This person is known as an administrator. This process is likely to be extremely stressful and complicated for your family and friends and can take months or even years in some very complex cases.
One of the benefits of making a Will is that you can speak to your solicitor about reducing your inheritance tax liability by making use of any relevant tax exemptions (for example, the spousal or charity exemption). If you have not left a will, your family could end up paying unnecessary tax.
The cost of the process to your family is also likely to be far higher if you pass away without a Will. If you have not left clear instructions, this could cause a dispute between family members which is likely to complicate the process costing even more money.
By making a Will, you have control over your estate. You can ensure that family heirlooms and gifts go to the people that you want to have them. You can appoint people you know well and trust to deal with your estate and to look after your children. Also, you are able to speak to those people or even write them a letter to give them further instructions about how you would like your children to be raised if you were to pass away. If you were to pass away without leaving a Will, unmarried partners and close friends have no right to inherit. If you want them to inherit, you must make a Will. You can also ensure that only the people you want to inherit from your estate do inherit.
It Sounds Complicated and Expensive
We understand that the thought of making a Will sounds quite daunting and can be upsetting. At Morgan Kelly Solicitors, we try to make the process as simple and as stress-free as possible. We offer a ‘Will while you wait service’ where we meet with you at our office and, provided your wishes are straightforward and you have the full names and addresses of those you wish to include in your Will, we can take your instructions, prepare and advise you on your Will, and arrange for you to sign it all in one meeting. The cost for this service starts at just £175.00 + VAT for a single person or £325.00 + VAT for a couple.
If you are interested in making a Will please give us a call on 01273 407970 to arrange an appointment or visit our Wills page for more information.