Why make a will – Caring for Friends and family?
When a person dies without leaving a Will certain rules must be followed and these are called the rules of intestacy.
- The rules of intestacy provides confirmation as to who, is to inherit from that person’s estate and this is dependent upon the size of their estate and also their family.
- It may mean that your children inherit or it could be that relatives that you have not had any contact with may inherit, depending on your family circumstances.
- The term common law partner is a term that has been used for a number of years however a common law partner isn’t recognised as a beneficiary in our jurisdiction. This means that they don’t automatically have a right to inherit from your estate even if you have lived together for a number of years. A Will can mean however that you can make appropriate financial provision for a person who you are cohabiting with, whilst still protecting your assets for say, a child.
- Without making such provision a cohabitee has no automatic right and therefore would have to make an application to the court which can be extremely upsetting and distressing for all of those concerned especially when they are still grieving for someone they have lost.
Why make a will – Future Care of Children and Inheritance tax
Although many people will focus on the issue of inheritance tax when making a will. Wills can also be utilised for many other aspects such as appointing a guardian or guardians for any children who are under the age of 18 and will allow you to make appropriate financial arrangements for them. It also can be utilised to preserve assets for your children, if for example you are in a second marriage or have formed a new relationship and have children to a previous partner.
By having a will not only does it guarantee who will benefit from your estate but it also means that you can address any inheritance tax issues. If a Will is prepared it means that you can consider inheritance tax planning and utilise the tax free thresholds which are available allowing you to pass your property to your relatives in the most tax efficient way, which for many may mean that you can avoid inheritance tax altogether as its charged at 40%.
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