Your will is a legal document that informs everyone what should happen to your money, assets as well as your home after you pass away (all the above collectively are called your 'estate'). If you don't leave a will, the law determines exactly how your estate is distributed, this may not be in in line with your actual wishes.
A will makes it a lot less complicated for your family or friends to arrange matters when you pass away as it makes the process less worrying and time consuming.
If don’t have a will arranged, then everything you own will be shared out in a way specified by the legislation rather than the way you want.
A will could also help in reducing the potential Inheritance Tax obligation that could be payable on the worth of the property as well as money you leave behind.
Creating a will is especially important if you have children under 18 (minors). Without a will, the court will decide which member of the family can become a guardian to your children. Having a will with an appointed guardian gives you the peace of mind that your children will be cared for by someone you have chosen. Unfortunately, in a recent survey it was found that 80% of parents had not named a guardian for their children, thus leaving it to the courts to decide.
A will could also prevent a prolonged probate process. All estates need to undergo the probate process, with or without a will. Having a will, however, accelerate the probate procedure.
Another good reason for having a will is that you could change your wishes at any time whilst still alive. Therefore, changes in life such as births, deaths, and also divorce, could produce circumstances where changes in the will may need to be made.
Making donations in your will enables your legacy to survive on as well as show your personal values and passions.
If your marriage or civil partnership were to break down without you having amended your existing will, your spouse or civil partner could inherit your property under the existing will which may not be what you desire.
Many people are not aware that entering into marriage or a civil partnership will make an existing will invalid.
Exactly what happens if I pass away without a will?
If you pass away without a legitimate will, you have no say in what happens to your estate. Instead, the 'Guidelines of Intestacy' will split your estate in a pre-determined manner and might not be to the people who you wanted to benefit. It additionally this might not be accomplished in one of the most tax-efficient means.