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4 Reasons Why You Must Have a Will

An image of a lady writing a will

Let’s be honest, no-one really wants to think about what will happen after they die! However, not everyone has enough warning to get their affairs in check before they pass away and without leaving a will, a whole host of complications could be left waiting for your loved ones.

The creation of will tells everyone what should happen to your money, possessions and property after you die (all these things together are called your ‘estate’). If you don’t leave a will, the law decides how your estate is passed on – and there is obviously a strong possibility that this may not go as you hope.

Below we have outlined 4 of the most important reasons why you must have a will.

No. 1 – It will make distributing your estate far easierAn image of people discussing a will

Creating a will makes it far easier for your family or friends to sort out what can often be complicated arrangements when you die.

The process can be hugely time-consuming and stressful but a will can help to reduce the time and effort required.

For more on what may happen if no will is in place, please visit – ‘Who can inherit if there is no will – the rules of intestacy‘.

No. 2 – It will ensure your wishes are carried outAn image of a house deed

If you do not have a will in place, everything you own will be shared out in a standard way defined by the law.

If this is the case, there is obviously a very strong chance that this may not result in your possessions and finances being passed to the people that you would want.

For more on dealing with the finances of someone who has died, please click here.

No. 3 – It may reduce the amount of tax payableAn image of a tax refund

A will can help reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax that might be payable on the value of the property and money you leave behind.

For more on Inheritance Tax, please take a moment to visit the excellent Telegraph article – ‘What is the largest estate you can pass on free of inheritance tax?‘ which contains some really important information.

No. 4 – It is crucial for anyone who is financially dependentAn image of two people holding hands

Writing a will is particularly important if you have children or another family who depend on you financially as it may result in severe disruption if this is not in place.

It is also highly advisable if you want to leave something to people outside your immediate family.

For some further considerations when making a will, please click here.

What do I need to do?An image of a fountain pen and a will

  • Don’t wait – if you do not have a valid will the courts will simply divide your estate the most logical way between your family members. Not only might this not be the way you wish it to be split but having to go through the courts is stressful and time-consuming.
  • Think about all eventualities – remember you are writing a will to last a few years so if you have young children you will need to make allowances for as they get older and their needs change.
  • Choose an executor – this is the person who will be in charge of organising everything and tying up your estate. Usually, you choose two executors and they can be friends or family members. It is probably wise to talk your choices through with them.
  • Make choices about your funeral arrangements – this is your opportunity to make it known, within reason, what kind of funeral you would like, whether you would like to be buried or cremated etc. You executor will do everything they can to uphold your wishes.

Age UK offers some further tips in the following article – ‘Making a Will‘.

Things to look out forAn image showing a list of things to consider

  • Make sure your will is legally valid – this is very simple; all you need is a document stating your wishes that are signed and dated by yourself and two witnesses. The witnesses must be independent and not beneficiaries of the will.
  • Be careful about small bequests – ask anyone who has been an executor and they will say that one of the hardest things to deal with is when small bequests are made of individual items such as jewellery which then cannot be found. If you would like someone to have something either consider giving it to them now or make sure it is clearly marked in an easy to identify the location.
  • Don’t pay unnecessary fees – if you have a complicated will you might want to use a solicitor at a cost of between £150 and £300. If, however, your situation is more straightforward you can use a template from a shop for around £10 or there are many online forms available.

For much more information about writing and a will and what happens if you don’t please take the time to read the excellent guide on the Money Advice Service website.

If you have unexpected expenses for a family member such as funeral or care fees we can help find a suitable small loan quickly and easily. You can compare loans from our specialist lenders and find the right choice for you in just a few minutes.

Clare McDonald
Clare McDonald
As a mother of two, Clare knows the importance of being careful with money, so writes posts from personal experience.Clare also loves to find great deals, so shares her finding here.

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