The importance of a Will
I am too busy… does this sound familiar?
Our lives are increasingly hectic; work and business life, children and elderly parents to look after and organise and the odd social occasion – a never ending struggle.
As a result there are a number of things that we know we should do but that get constantly moved to the bottom of the pile, like making a suitable Will.
A Will is an important legal document which directs the disposal of all your assets on your death, a time when you are no longer there to keep a watchful eye. It makes provision for your family’s financial future and is a document which often controls hundreds of thousands of pounds.
If you have no Will your assets will unlikely go to the Government but:
• Your spouse may be left short and there may be an unnecessary tax bill to pay.
• An 18 year old may get a cheque for substantial monies with no parental control.
• Step-children may get everything and your own children may miss out.
• Your business may fold because you have not made arrangements as to what should happen when you are not around to take care of it. Any business owner, Sole Trader, Partner or Company Owner, must make a Will. It is absolutely crucial not only to protect the business but also to save thousands of pounds in tax.
• Thousand of pounds may get wasted on care fees.
• Thousands of pounds may get wasted on additional and unnecessary Inheritance Tax.
• Problems may arise in respect of assets you own abroad.
When making a Will it is essential to ensure that the Will is tailor-made for your specific circumstances. You need to think carefully about protecting your wealth to take account of matters such as:
• Second marriages or re-marriages after death.
• Vulnerable beneficiaries (children, disabled children, divorcing or bankrupt children).
• Inheritance tax.
• Your business and maximising tax reliefs for your business and how your business will be run after your death.
• Protecting assets from care fees.
Dealing with assets owned abroad and impact of overseas laws.
• The risk of your Will being contested by disgruntled beneficiaries.
Hence, it is vital for your family’s financial security, to have a suitable Will in place, to ensure that on your death your Will does justice to everything you have worked for during your lifetime.
Similar issues could arise by failing to ensure that your affairs are protected in case you lose capacity following an accident or illness (e.g. a brain haemorrhage). Lasting Powers of Attorney enable you to nominate a person or persons to deal with your affairs should you become mentally incapable of doing so yourself.
Melissa is a Solicitor at Glanvilles LLP specialising in Wills, Powers of Attorney and elderly client matters.
Please contact her on
[email protected] or (01983) 527878 for a free initial consultation.