Writing a Will is easier than you think
“I’m not afraid of death – I just don’t to be there when it happens.” It has to be one of Woody Allen’s best one-liners. One third of us die without having written a Will. Dying intestate – without having written a Will – risks leaving your estate in the wrong hands and it may mean that a larger slice goes to the tax man than necessary. The Law Society says that one in three people in the UK die intestate and half of all people over the age of 45 have not written a Will. Recently Jilll Dando and Amy Winehouse died without a will causing additional confusion for their families.
It is better at any stage in life to write a Will to avoid letting the intestacy rules come into play. If you write a Will you can choose who will benefit from your estate. You can choose to include family, friends and charities. If you do not have a Will it can be disastrous in that as a result assets may pass to distant family members or even to the state and your loved ones may receive nothing. If you do not have a Will then your spouse or civil partner will automatically receive the first £450,000.00 of your assets. If you have children your surviving spouse or civil partner receives the first £250,000.00 of your assets and the rest is shared according to a rigid formula.
People who are not married or in a civil partnership are most at risk of problems if they die without having written a Will.
It is important to take professional advice when drafting a Will as there are special rules relating to assets which are owned jointly with others and as a result there can be unintended consequences if these rules are not taken into account when the Will is drafted.
- Writing a Will lets you choose who will benefit from your assets
- You can benefit charities
- If you create trusts which might save tax or nursing home fees
- Writing a Will can avoid further grief and distress for your family and loved ones
- Writing a Will is relatively straight forward and David Gray Solicitors would be happy to prepare straight forwards Wills from £150.00 including VAT
- We can also advise about lifetime gifts of property and Lasting Powers of Attorney