A Will is an important legal document that sets out how you would like your estate to be managed in the event of your death.
This should include:
- Who you want to name as executors (the people who will be responsible for managing your estate)
- Who you would like to take guardianship of your children, if appropriate
- Who you would like to leave specific property, personal possessions or bequests to
- Who you would like to inherit the residuary of your estate (everything that’s left)
A Will can also include any wishes for your funeral, though your loved ones will not be legally obliged to comply with these.
In order to be considered valid, a Will must be signed in the presence of two witnesses.
Making a Will is the only way to ensure that your estate is distributed exactly as you would have chosen.
If you don’t make a Will, or if the Will you leave behind isn’t valid, your estate will need to be distributed as per the intestacy laws. Intestacy laws only benefit close blood relations and married or civil partners. If your Will was to be distributed along these lines, any unmarried partners or step children would not benefit, while a spouse you were separated from would.
Even if you think your situation is straight forward, it is far better to make sure you have properly recorded your wishes in a Will. This could save your loved ones from a great deal of uncertainty after your death.
An experienced solicitor will be able to help direct your assets away from nursing home fees. Writing a Will could also help to ensure your loved ones don’t pay more inheritance tax on your estate than they need to.