By making a Will you can ensure that your estate will be dealt with by people you trust and pass to those you wish and make proper provision for those you want to look after. With a Will in place, you can be confident that your estate will go to the people you intend. If you die without a Will, the law takes over and determines how your estate will be divided. In particular:
- Your spouse may not automatically receive everything. Depending on the size of your estate, other family members would also have an entitlement.
- Your partner (“common law spouse”) is not entitled to receive anything.
- Your children will inherit at 18. Is this too young?
- Your assets may pass to people you have never met or even to the Crown.
Many people put off making a Will but there are certain times when it is vital to make or update your Will:
- Marriage, civil partnership or divorce. If you are getting married, you will want to ensure your assets go to your loved ones. If it is a second marriage then you are likely to want to ring fence your assets for your own children whilst at the same time protect your new spouse. Similarly if your relationship comes to an end and you are to divorce, then you should settle your new Will.
- If you are not married but live with your partner, he or she will inherit nothing if you do not leave a Will. You should consider how to protect your partner in the event of your death.
- If you have children, you should consider the appointment of guardians in the event of your death.
- If you acquire assets overseas, you must ensure that those assets can be dealt with on your death and it may be necessary to make a separate will in that overseas jurisdiction.
At WGS we have extensive experience of Will writing and whether your estate is simple or complex or involves tax planning, setting up trusts or other issues, we can assist.