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The Top 10 reasons why you should make a Will

Making a Will is something a lot of us put off for a whole host of reasons - the time, the hassle, the perceived expense or simply just not wanting to think about our own mortality.

In fact, new research shows there are currently 31 million people in the UK who run the risk of dying without a Will, meaning their estate would be distributed solely under intestacy laws and not according to their wishes.

So, here's a 'Top 10' of the reasons why making a Will, and regularly reviewing it, is so important:

  1. A correctly drawn Will is an inexpensive way of avoiding difficulties for your relatives and friends in the future in the event of your death;
  2. It's far cheaper than the cost for your relatives of sorting out your estate if you die without a Will and avoids financial stress at a time when they are already having to deal with your death;
  3. It puts you in control of the final destination of your estate and brings you peace of mind and freedom to enjoy your life knowing that your family, friends and the charities of your choice will be provided for as you wish;
  4. You can appoint people you know and trust as the executors of your Will to deal with your estate and make sure everything is handled as you want for your beneficiaries;
  5. You can appoint Guardians to look after any children you have under the age of 18. This means that the courts don't need to get involved and you know you have chosen people who share your beliefs and values;
  6. You can appoint trustees to look after any money you want to leave your children until they reach the age when you want them to have it. This is particularly important if you have been divorced as control of this money could otherwise go to your ex-spouse;
  7. A regularly updated Will means you won't miss out on fast changing tax laws that could save your family thousands of pounds in death duties including new Inheritance Tax rules and the additional 'residence nil rate band' threshold;
  8. You can be clear about what kind of funeral you want, setting out everything from whether you want to be buried or cremated to the hymns and service you'd like;
  9. Unless you make a Will, unmarried partners and those who have not registered a civil partnership cannot inherit;
  10. There are some key times in your life which should act as a prompt to making a Will or updating an existing one. These are: Buying a house; Getting married; Moving in with a partner; Getting divorced; Having children.

For help and advice about making or reviewing your Will, please contact Wards Solicitors' Wills, Probate and Mental Capacity team.