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10 reasons to make a Will

Creating a Will is possibly one of the most important things you can do to protect your legacy and your loved ones, as it ensures that your assets are split between the people you care about.

Despite this, half of the UK’s population doesn’t make a Will, leaving around 60,000 estates being declared ‘intestate’ every year. This means that the country’s law will dictate who gets what, which could lead to your estate being passed to the government, crown or Duchies of Cornwall or Lancaster if you have no living relatives.

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Why you should make a Will...

Making a Will means that your loved ones will inherit the things you want them to and your wishes are carried out completely. Here are the top ten reasons why you should consider investing in setting up a Will.

1 family tree

You decide who gets what

One of the biggest pros to setting up a Will, is that you decide how your assets are distributed and how you’d like everything to be handled once you're gone. If you die without putting this legally-binding document in place, arguments could erupt over your funeral and possessions. A Will can provide you with the peace of mind that all of this is taken care of.

2 child

You can name a guardian for your children

It’s likely that if you have children you have thought about what would happen to them when you’re gone, particularly if you are a single parent. A Will means that you can decide who would become the guardian of your kids, if they are under the age of 18. This could be a partner or spouse (if they’re not already biologically related or haven’t adopted them) or members of your family - it’s completely up to you. Without a Will, the court will decide who will look after your children and this may not have been the person you would have chosen.

3 time consuming process

Cut down the probate process

A Will won’t remove the probate process entirely, but it will drastically reduce the time it takes as the document informs the court about what you want.

4 inheritance

Save on inheritance tax

A carefully put together will can also reduce the amount of inheritance tax that is applied to your estate after your death. For example, this isn’t usually paid on anything that is left to a spouse or partner that permanently resides in the UK and it is only applied if an estate is worth over a certain amount.

5 executor

You can name an executor

You may worry about who will step up and look after things when you’re gone - making a Will can alleviate some of these concerns. By setting up this legal document, you can name an executor, this is a person who makes sure all your affairs are in order. This could mean they pay off any debts, cancel credit cards and notify businesses you associate with of your death, among other things. You can nominate the person or people you trust the most and who are sure to handle things well.

6 gift and donations

Gifts and donations

Your Will can reflect your personal values and benefit organisations that were close to your heart during your life. For example, if a charity - such the British Heart Foundation or the Macmillan Cancer Nurses - played a big role in your life, you can leave them a cash gift or if you have some pieces of artwork that you loved you could donate them to a gallery.

7 Disinherit people

You can disinherit people

Without a Will, your assets will be distributed among your relatives, irrespective of the relationship you had with them. If you set one up, however, you can make it clear who you’d like your beneficiaries to be and exclude anyone you wish to.

8 family

Keeping things in the family

You could have belongings that have been passed down through generations of your family, which hold a lot of sentimental value. A Will can ensure this tradition continues or even helps you start a new one.

9 Flowers

Your funeral

In your Will, you can make it clear what kind of funeral you would like and whether or not you’d want a wake afterwards. You can make your wishes known so these can be truly reflected in your final farewell.

10 Reassurance

Reassurance

Putting a Will in place is the only real way to make sure that your savings and possessions end up in the hands of those you want. Once it’s set up, you aren't required to think about it again, unless it needs to be amended.

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