Making a Will: 10 good reasons why it helps you AND your loved ones


Around 50% of people in the UK haven't made a Will. However, drawing up a Will is one of the most important things you'll ever do. And your loved ones will thank you for it, says Sian Thompson of Simpson Millar LLP.

"Surveys have shown that many people delay making a Will until they're in their 50s. Although 75% of the population have sorted out a Will before they're 65, some 60,000 estates each year are intestate (without a valid Will) – which is where the real problems can start.

"To mark Write a Will Week, here are 10 good reasons why, no matter how young you are, you should not put off this vital issue, which will make certain your wishes are followed when it comes to who inherits what."

  • A Will is a set of legally-binding instructions on how your estate will be distributed. Without one, your estate might not go to who you want.
  • You can make specific bequests to individuals, eg: from cash sums to CD collections and jewellery.
  • A Will can defuse family disputes.
  • You can choose your own executors. If you die intestate, your closest relatives will have to apply for ‘letters of administration’.
  • You can appoint guardians to look after your children if they are under 18 until they come of age. You can also make financial arrangements on their behalf.
  • If you have remarried, a Will can ensure any children from your first marriage a share of your estate.
  • Without a Will unmarried partners may receive nothing unless you have made a special Will in their favour.
  • If your estate is divided according to rules of intestacy, your spouse or civil partner might not receive as much as you would want.
  • Your parents or siblings may inherit your estate if you die intestate and with no spouse or children, even if you’d prefer it to go elsewhere.
  • A Will helps with tax planning. Without one, your family could face an unnecessarily large inheritance tax bill.

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