Why do I need a Will?
A Will lets you set out how you want your estate to be divided and could help ensure your loved ones inherit what you want them to. You may also want to list specific instructions in your Will such as leaving some of your inheritance to a favourite charity or making funeral arrangements.
A Will can also help make an emotional and difficult time that bit easier for you and your family. It will help avoid lengthy and costly delays in distributing your estate. Family disputes can often be prevented as your wishes are clearly set out.
What happens if I don’t have a Will?
If you don’t have a Will, your estate will be distributed in accordance with the Laws of Intestacy. These laws govern what happens to your estate and they follow strict rules. If you don’t have a Will your loved ones may not inherit as much as you want them to or may not inherit anything at all.
If you don’t have a Will, ask yourself the following…
- Do you want to leave your estate to specific people?
- Do you want to prevent the government from distributing your estate?
- Do you have children under 18 who you want to appoint guardians for?
- Do you want to leave specific gifts to loved ones?
- Do you have special wishes for your funeral arrangements?
- Do you have previous partners who you wish to include, or omit, from your Will?
- Do you want to leave instructions about who you would like to care for your pets?
- Do you have estranged relatives who you do not wish to benefit from your estate?
- Do you want to leave some, or all, of your estate to charity?
- Do you want to minimise Inheritance Tax on your estate?
- Are you unmarried and want to ensure your partner will be considered in your Will?
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
An LPA appoints the people you trust most to make decisions on your behalf should you no longer wish to do so or if you become unable to make the decisions yourself. Without an LPA your loved ones will find it difficult to manage your affairs for you as they do not have the legal authority to do so.
There are two types of LPAs, covering different areas of your life:
Property and Financial Affairs – This allows you to nominate those you choose to act on your behalf to make decisions about your finances and property. They can organise paying your bills, managing your bank accounts and pensions, and selling your home on your behalf if necessary.
Health and Welfare – using this type of LPA, your attorneys can make decisions about your health and welfare, which may include deciding where you live and agreeing your medical treatment. This type of LPA is only used if you are unable to make decisions for yourself.
To arrange your Will and/or Lasting Powers of Attorney call our specialist team today on freephone 0808 208 5411.
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These pages give a general overview of the issues surrounding estate planning and are based on our understanding of the current law and tax regulation in England and Wales, which may be subject to change.