7 Reasons to Make a Will

Creating a Will can seem complicated, and some people wonder if there is any point in making one at all. If you’re struggling to find a place to start, here are seven reasons to make your Will! 

1 – Save Time, Stress, and Money for Your Loved Ones

Having a Will in place lets you leave assets and gifts to whoever you choose. You can leave everything to your partner or your children, or decide to share it out evenly between your family. You can even decide to leave people out if you choose to.

With no Will in place, your estate will be subject to the rules of intestacy, and your loved ones may not have the financial security or gifts you wanted them to have. 

Having a Will can also reduce inheritance disputes, which can greatly reduce stress for your loved ones. People may argue over assets, which can lead to family feuds, damaged relationships, and significant expenses. However, a well-written Will can avoid these arguments and any additional stress or upset. 

2 – Provide for Your Dependents 

If there is anyone who relies on you for support, such as children, step-children, or your partner, a Will allows this support to continue even after you pass away. In the case of step-children, no provision in the law allows them to inherit without a Will, as only married partners and blood relatives stand to inherit under the rules of intestacy.

If your children are under eighteen, you can also name legal guardians should you pass away before they are legal adults. If you don’t have this in place, the decision could fall to the family courts, and they may choose someone to look after your children that you wouldn’t have chosen yourself.

3 – Protect Your Partner

Some people think that cohabiting for several years is enough to allow your partner to receive an inheritance, but this is not the case. Without a Will, they are not entitled to anything from the estate, no matter the length of the relationship. 

However, having a Will solves this and ensures they are taken care of. This can include financial consideration, leaving them a share of your property, or the right to reside in the property if it is held solely in your name. 

4 – Minimise Inheritance Tax

If you pass away without a Will, you may end up paying much more IHT than you need to, leaving your loved ones with less.

Inheritance Tax (IHT) is charged depending on the total amount of your estate and who you leave it to. IHT is taxed at a rate of 40%, but there are several ways to lower this. 

For example, leaving everything to your spouse is automatically exempt from IHT. Leaving property to your children and grandchildren is also likely to reduce the amount of IHT taken. 

Not all of your estate will incur IHT. Each person has a tax-free allowance of £325,000 and also an additional £175,000 when leaving property to another family member. This can give you a tax-free allowance of up to £500,000. 

If you are married or in a civil partnership, you and your partner can leave each other your tax-free allowances, as long as the first spouse did not use their full IHT allowance. This allows couples to leave a maximum of £1m to their loved ones and family.

5 – Choose Who Manages Your Estate

Creating a Will allows you to name an executor who manages and distributes your estate after you pass away. However, with no Will in place, you have no say over who this is, which could come with many unintended consequences. 

Being an executor comes with a lot of responsibility. They must apply for probate if needed, close down bank accounts, and distribute gifts, among other duties. If you do not choose someone you can trust, mistakes may be made that mean your loved ones may not receive whatever you leave them. 

You can choose a professional executor if you want to take everything off the shoulders of your loved ones at such a difficult time. This can be expensive, but vastly reduces the chances of mistakes being made, and you can relax knowing your loved ones will be taken care of.

6 – Provide Funeral Instructions 

A Will is not only for your assets. You can also leave behind funeral instructions to help take some of the burden off your loved ones.

However, it is important to remember that funeral wishes included in Wills are not legally binding, and whoever is arranging your funeral does not have to conform to them. Despite this, it is often highly beneficial for your loved ones to have a guideline of what you would prefer, so ensure that your Will is easily retrievable upon your death to allow arrangements to be considered as soon as possible.

7 – Support a Charity

Many people choose to support charities through their Wills. You can choose to leave a percentage of your estate, or a set monetary gift, to a charity of your choice. 

Along with supporting good causes, you can also reduce the amount of IHT payable on your estate with a charitable gift. If you leave more than 10% of your estate to charity, you can reduce the rate of IHT from 40% down to 36%. This same tax break applies if you bequeath money to a university or political party. 

There are many more fantastic reasons to write your Will; these are just a few to get you started. Get in touch with The Planning Bee for expert Will writing services and estate planning. Call us today to arrange your free consultation!

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