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4 reasons you should make a Will now

James Watkins - Law on the Web

  1. 02 July 2015
  2. Wills and Probate
  3. 0 comments
Time Will

At Law on the Web, we’ve heard all of the arguments that people make to justify not setting up a Will. “It’s too expensive!” “It’s too morbid!” “I don’t have much to leave to anyone anyway!”

These are understandable sentiments – considering your own mortality does seem morbid, and it’s easy to assume that setting up a Will would be expensive.

However, we want to help you cast those doubts aside, and see that setting up a Will is a good idea, whether you are young or old.

Setting up a Will isn’t that expensive

Lawyers are expensive, aren’t they? You may think that putting together a Will would be a costly process, with hours spent sat with a lawyer, racking up a legal bill of hundreds of pounds. You’ll barely have anything left to leave at the end!

However, now more than ever, this isn’t true – there are more affordable options to help you set up a Will. Our Will Writing Service can help you put together a Will from just £145 – for this low price, you get a consultation with a solicitor, and complete guidance to make sure your Will reflects your true wishes.

The service can help you even if you have more complicated needs – for example, if you want to set up a trust, or make a Mirror Will with your partner.

Your estate might be worth more than you think

It might seem a bit pointless to put together a Will if you aren’t particularly well off – if you don’t have much to leave, why worry about where it goes?

However, it’s easy to underestimate how much your estate is worth, particularly if you own your own home. Having a large estate can throw up complications, particularly when you die intestate (without a Will).

If your estate is worth more than £325,000, inheritance tax will need to be paid on the amount above this threshold, at a rate of 40%. This is a significant chunk of an inheritance – if your estate was worth £425,000, your beneficiaries would have to pay £40,000 in inheritance tax.

However, a Will, if well-written, can reduce this burden of tax on your beneficiaries. Speaking of which…

You could save your loved ones a lot of trouble

If you pass away without a Will, your estate will be doled out according to the rules of intestacy. This sets out a specific order of who should benefit – for example, if you have a spouse or any children, they would be the only ones who could receive anything from your estate. If you have no spouse or direct descendants (eg. children or grandchildren), or they do not outlive you, your estate will be left to others – your parents would be next, followed by any brothers or sisters. You can read more about this on our intestacy page.

This means that you won’t have any say in who benefits from your estate – if you wanted to leave anything to a close friend, an unmarried or common law partner, or even a charitable organisation, they will not be able to benefit.

You might be satisfied with your estate being subject to the rules of intestacy if you want to leave everything to your husband, wife, or civil partner. However, intestacy can throw up a number of unexpected complications. Without a clear Will, it is more likely that the administration of your estate will be contested.

Another family member might believe that they deserve provision from your estate, or there could be disagreement over who should administrate it. These kinds of disputes will only add to the stress and tumult that your family will experience when you pass away.

You can do more than specify who gets what

A Will specifies your last wishes, and those wishes can go beyond deciding the fates of the money, property and other baubles which cannot follow you into whatever lies beyond this cold world.

The Will is commonly used to specify the executors of the Will, those who will carry out your last wishes. This is an important consideration, as you want someone who is responsible and capable enough to make sure those wishes are carried out correctly. You can choose up to four executors – they are usually friends or family members, but you can name your solicitor as one too.

The Will can also be used to specify any wishes for how you want your children to be raised, such as who should look after them, if they have not reached 18 by the time you pass away.

You can learn more about Wills in our Making a Will section.

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