The importance of having a willcreative77
Research carried out in April 2021, found that 56% of adults in the UK have not written a will. (Source: Canada Life financial services)
However, of those without a will, a third said the pandemic has resulted them in starting the process or considering writing a will. It isn’t as difficult, complicated, or costly to create a will as it is perceived to be, and it can prevent significant problems at a difficult time for relatives.
Locally prices for a basic, straight-forward will can cost from £150 + VAT.
Why it is important to make a will?
It is important that you make a will regardless of whether you consider that you have valuable possessions or much in terms of money.
It is important because if you die without a will, there are certain rules which dictate how your property, possessions and money is distributed.
If you write a will you get to decide what happens to your property, possessions and money after your death.
Partners who aren’t married or who do not have a registered civil partnership do not have a right to inherit from each other unless there is a will in place. This may mean that the death of one partner may create serious financial problems for the remaining partner.
If you have children it is also important to make arrangements for them if either one, or both parents died.
And finally – it can be possible to reduce the amount of inheritance tax payable if advice is taken and a will is then produced.
How do I make a will?
Whilst it is possible to write your own will, for a relatively small cost it is advisable to seek the services of a solicitor to help with the process and you will definitely need professional legal advice if your will is not straightforward, this can include: if you share a property with someone who is not your husband, wife or civil partner; if you have a property overseas and if you have a business.
You will also need to choose an executor/executors for your will. You can have up to four executors, it is a good idea to have at least two to share the responsibility of the role and in case one of them dies before you. They can be a friend of a family member and should be someone you trust.
Once your will has been written and your executors chosen and informed, your will then needs to be signed in the presence of two independent witnesses for it to be valid.
It then needs to be stored safely – this can be through your solicitor, bank, stored safely at home or with the government Probate Service. You also need to let the executors of your will know where it is kept.
What is Inheritance Tax?
We referred earlier to Inheritance Tax (IHT) and that through planning you could potentially reduce the amount of IHT which may need to be paid.
IHT is paid on the estate of a person who has died if their estate is over a certain amount. However, there are a lot of variables which can influence what may need to be paid so if you do have any queries on this please take a look at the government’s HMRC website https://www.gov.uk/inheritance-tax or give us a call on 01472 287387 for a chat.