Estate planning is an essential part of a financial plan. So, it’s important you ensure your assets and possessions (your ‘estate’) will end up in the hands of your choosing. Writing a Will is the best way to guarantee that your beneficiaries get exactly what you want them to. If you own property or a business, or have children you want to inherit your savings and investments, ensure you have a will.
This does not constitute advice and advice should be sought in all instances before acting on it.
What does your estate include?
Included in your estate are your personal possessions as well as any assets. Your assets would be any property (domestic or foreign), savings and investments, insurance funds, or pension funds. It’s crucial you protect your estate and plan for the future — even when it doesn’t include yourself.
If you don’t have a will, not only will you have no control over where your estate goes after you die, but your family might have a tough time trying to sort out your affairs on their own. If you don’t establish where you want your assets to go, then under intestacy rules, only married partners, registered civil partners and certain close relatives can inherit your estate. This means that if you are not married to or are in a registered civil partnership with your significant other, your partner won’t have the right to inherit your estate.
Reasons to make a will:
- You have full control over how your assets are shared
- If you’re part of an unmarried couple (same-sex relationship or otherwise), you can ensure your partner is provided for
- For divorcees, you can decide if you want to leave your former partner anything
- You can make sure you don’t pay more Inheritance Tax than necessary
- Avoid the problem of several people potentially making a claim on your estate when you die because they depend on you financially
- If you have a trust you want to include in your will so you can provide for young children or perhaps a disabled family member, save tax, or simply protect your assets in some way after you die)
- Your permanent home is not in the UK or you are not a British citizen
- You live in the UK but you have an overseas property
- If you own all or part of a business
Things to consider when writing a will:
Before you write a will, you’ll need to take stock of all your assets and figure out what you want included in it. You should consider a few things, such as how much money and what property or other possessions you have. You’ll also need to decide who your beneficiaries will be as well as who should look after any children under 18 years of age in the event of your passing. Finally, you’ll need to assign someone the role of executor — the person responsible for sorting out your estate and carry out your wishes after your death.
Keep your will updated
A will is not something you set up once and then never revisit again. You should review your estate plan every few years or after any major events or change in your life. For small things, you can add amendments or supplements, but if you’ve married or separated from a spouse, had a child, or moved house, it will be necessary to rework your will.
Whenever you need assistance, we’re happy to help with your estate planning needs. We can also put you in touch with reliable solicitors for any paperwork needed to ensure your final wishes are execute. Don’t delay – contact us today.