An up-to-date Will written by a solicitor ensures your wishes are respected. It also avoids difficult decisions and legal complications for your loved ones. It is easy to put off making a Will, but it is the most important thing to do to protect your family when you die and to ensure the assets in your estate pass to the people who you want to benefit.
If you die without a Will, certain rules under law decide how your money, property and possessions should be allocated. This may not be in line with your wishes or what you thought would happen.
Usman Khan, Wills and Probate Lawyer at OH Parsons, explains what a Will is for and why it is important to have one.
Making a Will
A Will is a document, which comes into effect when you die. In your Will you identify what you want to happen with your property and assets after your death.
In it you appoint individuals, which can include those representing a professional firm such as solicitors or accountants, to be responsible for ensuring your wishes are met. They are known as ‘executors’.
The Will needs to give to the executors all the powers they need to ensure your wishes are met. In addition to confirming who inherits your assets, it can minimise the effect of taxation; include express provisions about what kind of funeral you want; and appoint the people to be responsible for the guardianship of your minor children.
Without a Will the intestacy laws are imposed, which effectively leave everything to your next of kin in a fixed order. The intestacy laws can have undesired consequences. They do not provide for cohabitees, stepchildren, friends or charities you may support. If you have no next of kin and do not leave a Will, the whole of your estate will go to the Crown.
If you have any questions or need any advice about Wills contact OH parsons on our 24-hour Advice Line 0800 526368 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively take a look at our Wills & Probate section.