A Will is a declaration of how you wish your estate to pass on your death and to which people or charities you wish to benefit.  Your estate will include your personal possessions and assets, such as your property, vehicles, savings and investments.  However, if you die without making a valid Will, there are certain rules which will dictate how your estate should be distributed.

Without a Will your family may find it difficult to resolve your affairs after you have died and your estate will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy.  Consequently, your personal possessions and assets may not be inherited by the people you would have wished to benefit.

Under the intestacy rules only married partners, civil partners and certain close relatives can inherit your estate.  Unmarried partners or partners who have not registered a civil partnership will not have a right to inherit your estate, even if you were living together.  Your partner could potentially be left in financial difficulty and may have to move out of the family home.

You may feel you do not have much to leave or that you are too young to put a Will in place.  However, it is important to make a Will to set out how you want your assets and personal possessions to be shared.  It is also important to make a Will if you have minor children so you can make arrangements for them and name legal guardians.

When making a Will you should think about what assets and personal possessions you want to include in your Will.  You should then consider which people or charities you wish to benefit.  You should also think about what happens if any of these people die before you and who you would like to inherit instead.

You may wish to consider including funeral wishes in your Will, such as what type of funeral you want, or if you wish to be buried or cremated.  This can be a useful way of letting your family know your funeral wishes.

You will need to name executors in your Will.  These will be the people who carry out the wishes set out in your Will.  Executors can be family, friends or professional people.  Careful consideration should be given as to who you name as your executors.  Do they get along with each other?  Executors have a lot of responsibility sorting out your estate after you have died.  They will collect in your assets, pay off debts or taxes due and distribute your estate to your beneficiaries as stated in your Will.

There is a lot to consider when thinking about making a Will. Our specialist lawyers can advise you on all aspects of making a Will.  For more information about making or updating a Will and to speak with one of our legal advisors contact our offices Kidderminster 01562 822295 or Stourport 01299 822033 or email probate@painterslaw.co.uk

 

Written by Charlotte Miltiadou,

Trainee Solicitor in the Wills and Probate Department