This only comes second to starting that diet as something we all say we will get around to next week. If you are procrastinating, you may have convinced yourself that you don’t actually need one. We are here to tell you otherwise and how, by not having a Will, you could leave a whole load of problems behind you.
Here are 6 reasons why you can’t put it off any longer (and there are many more):
- Dying without leaving a Will, or intestate, brings the complex intestacy rules into play. This basically consists of the Government stepping in and deciding where your assets end up. Just because you are married does not necessarily mean that your assets will pass to your spouse either and distant relatives can quickly forget that big falling out as they come out of the shadows to stake their claim. If you are not married your partner would receive nothing from your estate. In some cases, vast amounts of Inheritance Tax can also be saved if you make a Will.
- Children from first marriages can often lose out if you have remarried. Imagine you have promised your child a cut of the sale of a property for when both you and your second husband or wife have passed away. Then that day comes and the new spouse denies all knowledge of it. Make sure it’s down in black and white in a Will to ensure that your children from your first marriage will get their share.
- Dying when you have children under the age of 18 is literally leaving them alone in the world. If they have no appointed guardians, they may have to go through the traumatic experience of a court deciding where they will live and who with. They could even go into care during the interim period in the worst cases, which could drag on for months. Don’t let this happen to your children. It must be stipulated in a Will who will care for them after your passing to prevent all the heartache.
- A child can legally claim their inheritance when they turn 18 if you have died without a Will. How many 18-year olds do you know who are mature enough with money to manage a large sum responsibly? It is very common now to defer inheritances of lump sums in a Will until the children are older (25 for example), by which time they will have matured mentally and are less likely to be influenced as to what to spend it on. This will only happen if you make a Will.
- Dying without leaving a Will when you own a business opens a whole new can of worms. The business could be sold to the first bidder leaving your family out of pocket. Your loyal employees could find themselves out of work. If you have worked hard to establish your business to pass on the reins when you die then you need to say so in a Will.
- By using some simple trust planning within your Will, you can protect your assets against being lost to pay for long term care if you die before your spouse or partner and they need care later on. You can even protect your assets in case your spouse finds a new Mr or Mrs Right after you have gone. Have we talked yet about Toy Boys and Sugar Daddies?
Written by - Stephen Wilkes, Managing Director at Silver Lining Estate Planning Ltd