Making a Will
"THERE IS NOTHING CERTAIN IN LIFE EXCEPT DEATH & TAXES" - Benjamin Franklin
It is the easiest thing in the world to put off. Most people donít like to think about dying. It is bound to happen sometime but, unfortunately, we are unable to predict when. Accidents and misfortunes can strike at any time and to die without a Will can create huge problems for your bereaved family.
It is very important to have a professionally drawn Will. The temptation to do a DIY Will should be firmly resisted as you may inadvertently pen a tragedy for your family and friends who stand to risk losing out or incurring considerable extra costs in remedying the mistakes and often having to pay a lot more tax.
Some of the advantages of having a professionally drawn Will can be summarised as follows:-
1. Easing the burden on next of kin. A well drawn Will greatly eases the burden of administration of a deceased person's estate - especially if a Solicitor is instructed to carry out the administration. A significant proportion of the population overlook making a Will often to the severe detriment of their families. If there is no Will, a widow with children is only entitled outright to £125,000. With current high property prices, this means a widow has no guarantee at all of security in the family home.
2. Flexibility and Choice. You can say exactly how you want matters dealt with, free of the inevitably arbitrary intestacy rules. You can make all manner of specific gifts to particular people (ie a collection to someone who would really value it) or money gifts to special people. You can also benefit charities in a tax efficient manner.
3. Looking after the Children. A Will is a good means of saying who you want to be guardians of your children. You never know when tragedy may strike - the Will can additionally set out useful administrative provisions to assist with meeting the accommodation needs for your possibly orphaned children and facilitating the best means of investing money on their behalf.
4. Tax savings. Often over £100,000 of inheritance tax can be saved without prejudicing the financial security of the surviving spouse at all - further a Will can usually be drawn so as to ensure that the share of a beneficiary under the age of 18 can be invested free of income tax and so grow significantly faster for the benefit of the child.
5. Choice of Executor. You can choose precisely whom you want to administrate your estate - who do you think would be the wisest and most sensitive person for the job - possibly also working with a solicitor.
We (alongside Rowberry Morris, solicitors) are well placed to assist you in drawing up a Will and would be happy to discuss the matter further.