Who needs to make a Will?
That’s easy – ideally everyone over 18, but it is crucial for those living together, those with children, those who don’t want to create an unnecessary tax bill and those whose assets may be at risk from creditors in the future. No need to lose everything which would have helped your children and grandchildren if you make a Will of the right type.
What happens to your kids if you don’t make a Will?
1) If you haven’t made a Will and meet with a fatal accident or whatever, and either both parents die or are unable to act (see our section on Lasting Powers of Attorney), do you think your next of kin take charge?
If you do, you are wrong.
If you don’t make a Will which appoints Guardians to look after your children in these sad circumstances, they will be dragged out of the family home to live with strangers until their fate is decided. Maybe this isn’t what you want. So make a Will – don’t leave Social Services in charge of your children. They will use their best efforts, but they don’t have the faintest idea which of you family or friends would be a wise choice. They may be fooled by the most unsuitable person you can think of. Appearances can be deceptive, and Social Workers have very busy workloads.
2) If you don’t make a Will, the Government will decide who inherits anything you own through the Rules of Intestacy, which take no account of common law spouses or partners. They get nothing unless they sue whoever does inherit under the Rules of Intestacy. This can mean years of uncertainty, frustration – and no access to assets in you name. So if the house is in you name, they may not be able to move to avoid repossession if the mortgage can’t be paid after losing your income. Nasty, and easily avoided if you make a Will. As long as you make a Will which is well thought through and properly complete the required formalities under the Wills Act.
That is why you need the advice of a specialist professional Will Writer – despite their specialist skills, most are pretty sensibly priced as they don’t have the massive overheads of many High Street firms.
So get started, make contact and above all, make a Will!