Do I Need A Will?
Yes, Here’s why it’s important to make a will
Whether or not you consider you have many possessions or much money. It is important to make a will because:
- If you die without a will, there are certain rules which dictate how the money, property or possessions should be allocated. This may not be the way that you would have wished your money and possessions to be distributed.
- Unmarried partners and partners who have not registered a civil partnership cannot inherit from each other unless there is a will, so the death of one partner may create serious financial problems for the remaining partner
- If you have children, you will need to make a will so that arrangements for the children can be made if either one or both parents die
- It may be possible to reduce the amount of tax payable on the inheritance if advice is taken in advance and a will is made
- If your circumstances have changed, it is important that you make a will to ensure that your money and possessions are distributed according to your wishes. For example, if you have separated and your ex-partner now lives with someone else, you may want to change your will. If you are married or enter into a registered civil partnership, this will make any previous will you have made invalid
According to the Society of Will Writers, they recommend that you should review your estate plan every 3-5 years. This is to make sure that your will still matches your current wishes. We also recommend reviewing your planning when you have a change in your personal circumstances, or when a beneficiary has a change in circumstances.
You should review your estate planning upon any of the following events:
- Change in Law
- General Change in Circumstances
Or on a happier note perhaps you have repaired a relationship with a formerly distant child and now want to change your will to benefit them.
If it’s been a while since you’ve reviewed your will or if any of your circumstances have changed then maybe it’s time to break it out of the safe and check you’re still happy with the contents. Check out our online will writing services at PFGwills.co.uk
Making a will is something that most people will need to do at some point in their lives, but it can also be difficult and fraught with emotion. When we think about making a will, we often just think about the very literal process of dividing our assets between the people we leave behind, but there is a lot more to consider than this.
As one of the premier financial groups in Norfolk, our advisors are best placed to help you with everything you need to do to make a full and comprehensive will, but here are some of the factors you might want to consider in advance:
Things like property and cash lump sums, if they aren’t going straight to your surviving spouse or partner, will need to be divided between your beneficiaries. However, there are often smaller items like sentimental pieces of jewellery that you want to go to a specific person. This is called a ‘specific bequest’. Make a list of these items before you draft your will so that you know exactly what you’re gifting and to whom, otherwise it will all go into the ‘pot’ of assets to be divided.
If you have a medical condition which impairs your ability to make decisions, you will need to appoint a person to make decisions for you regarding end-of-life treatment. If you want to refuse treatment to bring you back to life, you’ll need to have a specific ‘DNR’ (Do Not Resuscitate) and having this in place can help to alleviate the stress of making difficult decisions from your loved ones.
When you pass away, you may want to make sure that some of the beneficiaries of your will don’t receive their inheritance until they reach a certain age. Many grandparents choose to do this so that their grandchildren have a lump sum of money for starting university or putting down the deposit on the house. Keeping the funds in an age-limited Trust means that they will have the maturity to deal with it in a sensible manner.
Inheritance Tax is a tricky area which depends on a lot of different factors. It is paid by the estate of the person who has died and will usually be handled by the executor of the will. According to HMRC, there’s normally no Inheritance Tax to pay if either:
- the value of your estate is below the £325,000 threshold
- you leave everything above the £325,000 threshold to your spouse, civil partner, a charity or a community amateur sports club
Wills are something that can bring out the best and the worst in people. Leaving all of your assets to charity, for instance, could leave your nearest and dearest feeling neglected and hurt. This is why it’s important to create your will when you’re of sound mind and have the capacity to make decisions that will be upheld in the event that someone should challenge the contents after you’ve gone. Having witnesses present when signing the final document will help to ensure that there’s no doubt about your state of mind or competence.
Leaving your loved ones behind doesn’t bear thinking about but leaving them without having made proper provision with a valid Will is even more unthinkable. If you don’t have a huge amount of assets to leave behind, you may think that having a Will doesn’t really matter, but there are some very unfortunate and far-reaching consequences for failing to make your final wishes known in a Will. Here’s a look at some of the things that may happen if you fail to make a will:
If you aren’t married or in a civil partnership, but do have a long-term partner, the rules for how things are inherited become very tricky. Unless you have a legal partnership, your partner will not necessarily be entitled to inherit your assets will be divided in accordance with the Intestacy Rules. A set of rules which stipulates who will benefit from your estate if no Will has been left.
If you have children who are still under the age of 18 then they will need to be appointed a legal guardian after you die. Without a Will, this process can be less than straightforward.
If no legal guardian is appointed in a Will then the family courts will choose who will look after your children. As well as being costly and incredibly upsetting and stressful it can result in someone you would not have chosen being appointed as guardian.
If you own a property which is solely in your name, but share your home with your partner, there’s a good chance that you’ll want them to have the security of a roof over their head once you pass. However, without a Will, your partner may not be legally entitled to continue to inhabit your property and could find themselves homeless while dealing with the grief of losing their loved one. A Will would allow you to make provision for a surviving partner to continue to live in the property, even if the value of the building is not being inherited by them in the long run.
While pets are considered property in the eyes of the law, to many of us our pets are members of the family and ensuring they have a home to go to once you’ve passed away is hugely important. A will allows you to make provision for who your pets will live with (especially if they’re a species with a particularly long life span, like some breeds of parrot), but without one, your pets may find themselves being passed to shelters, or worse.
For a lot of people, leaving a gift to a charity in their will is of real emotional importance. It allows them to feel like their death has meaning if they’re able to help others, even when they aren’t here. This type of legacy can offer genuine comfort in a person’s final days. Without a will, you won’t be able to specify which charities you’d like to bequeath a gift to, and unless your executor knows you very well and feels able to do this on your behalf, your wishes will go unmet.
At PFG Wills we offer an online will writing service.
Our online will writing software has been built with the help of industry professionals providing legal advice for the preparation of Wills.
Why Choose Premier Financial Group?
- We offer Independent Advice on Mortgages, Equity Release, Life Insurance or help with your Investments, then we can point you in the right direction of a skilled adviser who will be able to give you suitable advice bespoke to your requirements.
- No call centres
- We are just a phone call away, if you have any questions about your Will or any service that you have purchased from us we are happy to help resolve these for you. In most cases you will be able to speak to the Advisor or Administrator that has been dealing with your case, giving you an accurate response to your queries.
- We can arrange to meet at our Norwich Office or at your address if you are within our catchment area around Norwich or we can meet online via Teams or Zoom.
To discuss the options available to you please contact our team