Heritage Wills and Probate

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Home Why Make a Will

Why Make a Will

To avoid dying intestate

That is without a will and allowing your possessions to be distributed according to the laws of intestacy. Many people assume that their spouse will inherit everything - but that is not necessarily the case. It is possible that your children or other relatives could enforce the sale of the family home to realise their inheritance. Your loved ones may also suffer financial hardship and distress at a time when they least need it, whilst your affairs are sorted out.

To appoint guardians of your choice to look after your children

In your will you can appoint a guardian - a person of your choice to look after your children if you should die before they reach 18. Otherwise Social Services may decide for you and could appoint someone that you may not have chosen, such as foster-parents.

To appoint executors

Administering an estate is a position of responsibility, and it is important the task is carried out by someone you trust. If you don't appoint executors yourself they will be chosen according to fixed rules and they may not be the people most suitable to act. Your family may have to employ professionals to sort out the mess that you leave behind whose charges could mean that they become significant beneficiaries of your estate.

To minimise inheritance tax

Are you happy to give the taxman 40% of everything you own, including your home, over £325,000? Each year the taxman collects over £3billion and this liability can be minimised or eliminated altogether with a carefully written will.

To prevent your home being sold to pay for nursing home fees

1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men are likely to require long term care in old age and around 50,000 homes a year are sold to meet these costs. And as above, with careful planning your assets can be protected for your loved ones instead.

If you are unmarried

Your partner is not entitled to any of your estate unless you make a will. This is regardless of how long you have been together.

To provide certainty

Making a will allows you to decide who, when and how much your beneficiaries receive. You may also want to leave something to a friend, colleague or favourite charity. You might also have children from a previous relationship who could get left out.

To prevent unnecessary expense and delays

Administering an estate, with a grant of probate, where there is a will, is far quicker and cheaper than without. Why give banks and solicitors money that may be needed by your loved ones? If you do make a will then the legal process in dealing with your affairs will be easier, and much less painful at a time when your loved ones will need all the help that they can get.

To prevent certain members of your family benefiting

This can only be done through a will.

To prevent the state inheriting your estate

If you don't have close family, then the state will inherit your estate

To prevent disputes

If you don’t have a will

To my family:

I hereby leave you all several months, possibly years, of financial hardship and expense whilst you go to unnecessary efforts to sort out my affairs.

To my spouse:

I hereby leave you some (but probably not all) of everything I own.

To my children:

I hereby leave you the remainder of my estate and give you the authority to enforce the sale of any part of it (including the family home) to realise your inheritance.

To social services:

If my children are orphaned I give you the authority of guardianship and power to choose who shall look after them, including allocating them to foster-parents.

To the tax man:

I hereby leave you all the tax that I could have avoided and given to my family.

To my bank and/or solicitor:

I hereby authorise you to charge whatever you feel necessary to sort out the mess that I have left behind. I realise that this could make you one of the major beneficiaries of my estate.

To everyone else:

I leave you nothing!





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