Why make a Will?

Below is my article entitled ‘Why make a Will?’, kindly published in the March 2020 edition of the Seer Green & Jordans Parish Magazine.

Writing a Will is one of the most important things you will ever do to provide for your family’s future. It enables you to pass your assets down the generations tax-efficiently and in accordance with your wishes. If you have children, you can also appoint guardians of your choice, who will bring up your children if you both die.  Otherwise, a court would have to choose your children’s guardians for you. 

If you have been married before, a Will allows you to balance the financial needs of your second husband or wife with those of your children. This is usually done using a life interest trust. If you are unmarried you can make provision for your partner, who would otherwise receive nothing.  He/she may be able to make a claim against your estate, but this is an uncertain and expensive process. 

When you make your Will you choose executors who will be in charge of winding up your estate. You may want to delay your children receiving their inheritance beyond age 18.  By making a Will, you can delay this to age 21, 25 or even later, when they are likely to be more mature and responsible. If you have a vulnerable beneficiary, you can establish a discretionary trust to provide for the individual in a controlled manner. This may be appropriate for someone who is disabled, has mental health difficulties or an addiction problem.

You may even want to disinherit a relative, in which case you should leave a letter of wishes setting out your reasons, and also record why you have included your other beneficiaries instead.  This would be useful evidence if your Will was ever challenged in court.

Making a Will also avoids the additional cost and delay associated with dying without a Will (intestate).

Rebecca D’Arcy
Chiltern Wills               
07544 01039

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