Why Should I Make a Will?

Your Will tells everyone what is to happen to your money, possessions and property after you die. If you don’t leave a Will (which is called intestacy), the law decides how your estate is dealt with, and this might not be in line with your wishes.

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The main reasons for making a Will are:-

  • A Will can make it much easier for your loved ones to sort everything out when you die, without a Will the process can be time consuming and more stressful. 

  • To appoint the person or people you would wish to act as the executor(s) of the estate (these are the person(s) who have the legal authority to deal with your estate)

  • If you don’t write a Will everything will be shared out in a particular way defined by the law, which isn’t always the way you might want. 

  • To leave something specific to someone in particular. 

  • Unmarried partners, including same-sex couples who don’t have a civil partnership, have no automatic right to inherit if there is no Will.

  • A Will is especially important if you have children or other loved ones who depend on you financially.

  • To appoint guardians who you would like to take care of your children if you die whilst they are under the age of 18. 

It is advisable to review your Will at least every five years or if you have a change in circumstance. This makes sure that it still adequately provides for your needs and to establish if there have been any changes to the law which might affect your Will.

Some such changes in circumstances that should prompt you to review your Will include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • If you get married – getting married will revoke an existing Will, unless it was made in contemplation of the marriage.

  • If you get divorced – in such circumstances your Will essentially remains valid but will be read as if your former spouse or partner has pre-deceased you. 

  • New children or grandchildren – to ensure they are included in your Will.

  • If someone named in your Will dies before you.

  • If an executor is no longer suitable, loses capacity, or dies – it is important that your executors are able and willing to administer your estate.