The importance of making a Will
A Will is a legal document that sets out how you would like your assets – such as property, possessions and investments – to be distributed when you die. But is it really necessary? Let’s take a look at five reasons why it’s important to make a Will.
It Ensures Your Chosen Beneficiaries Inherit
If you don’t make a Will, the rules of intestacy apply. This means your estate is shared out in accordance with a strict set of regulations, with only spouses or direct family members benefitting. If, for example, you have a partner to whom you’re not married, they won’t inherit at all under the rules of intestacy. Alternatively, your assets may go to someone that you’d prefer not to benefit. By making a Will, you ensure your estate goes to the people you choose, in the proportions you choose.
It Enables You to Leave Specific Gifts
Making a Will enables you to leave specific gifts to named individuals. You might, for example, wish to leave your family home to your unmarried partner so that they won’t be left without homeless when you die. You can also specify friends, charities or other organisations to whom you would like to leave monetary gifts or specific assets.
It Makes Provisions for Children and Pets
A Will allows you to legally designate a guardian for your children should both you and their other parent pass away. Without a Will, this decision would be made by a court, meaning your children could end up being raised by someone you would not choose. A Will also enables you to leave instructions as to who you’d like to care for your pets if you own any at the time of your death.
It Helps you Reduce Inheritance Tax
Speaking to Kent tax advisors before making a Will can help you to reduce the amount of inheritance tax your loved ones will have to pay. Accountants can help you organise your estate in a way that ensures beneficiaries get the largest possible share of your wealth. This may involve putting assets into trust, making gifts and more.
It Helps Your Loved Ones
Many people choose to make a Will because it saves time, money and stress for those they leave behind. The passing of a loved one is an emotional time, and having to deal with avoidable admin tasks only makes it more stressful. By creating a Will, you’re leaving clear instructions as to who should inherit, and can appoint an executor – who may be a friend or professional such as a Kent accountant for probate services– to ensure your wishes are followed. This makes the whole process of obtaining probate and distributing the estate much easier at an otherwise difficult time.
Making a Will should not be something you leave until the last minute; after all, nothing in life is certain so ensuring that your chosen beneficiaries are provided for is essential. For guidance on how to reduce your inheritance tax liability before making a Will, speak to a reputable accountant today.