Points of Law: Why it’s important to make a will

It is estimated that 60 per cent of the population in the UK have not made a will, says Amy O'Sullivan from Seatons Solicitors
It is estimated that 60 per cent of the population in the UK have not made a will, says Amy O'Sullivan from Seatons Solicitors
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Lawyer Amy O’Sullivan from Seatons Solicitors in Corby writes for the Telegraph.

Do you have a will in place?

It is estimated that 60 per cent of the population in the UK have not made a will. Further, 70 per cent of people who have made a will have not reviewed it in the past five years. In this article we explore the reasons why it is so important that you have a will in place.

The most important reason you should have a will is to ensure that upon your passing your assets are distributed as you wish. You may have heirlooms that you wish to pass to a certain relative. If no will is in place, then the laws of intestacy will apply. This means that someone could benefit from your estate who you are no longer in contact with.

If you have children under the age of 18 a will is crucial as you can appoint guardians should both parents die while the child is under 18. You can set up trustees who will monitor the inheritance until they reach a specific age which you can detail in the will.

You may own your own property and wish for your adult children to benefit should you ever have to enter care or pay inheritance tax. A trust can be included in the will, meaning that at least half of your property value will be ring-fenced.

If you have children with a previous partner and you have remarried, you must make a will to ensure your children benefit from your estate. If you pass away first without a will, all of your assets will pass to your husband/wife, and if they haven’t made a will either, then all of your assets will pass under the intestacy rules to usually the next of kin, so your children will not receive anything from your estate.

You may have relatives who you do not wish to benefit from your estate. Perhaps you have an estranged child. If you don’t make a will then under the rules of intestacy your assets are usually passed to your next of kin. By making a will with a solicitor you can ensure it is watertight and prevent any claims against your estate.

You may have seen you can create a will online. However, there can be devastating consequences. By receiving legal advice you will be informed of how your assets will pass and the best way to draft your will to ensure your wishes are followed.

The process of making a will is so simple and straight-forward but many people put it off until it’s too late. You can come into the office, or we can take instructions over the telephone. We then send a draft for your approval and once this has been done we arrange for you to sign the will. We do offer home visits if it is more convenient.

Contact Seatons today for a free no-obligation chat and to arrange an appointment to take instructions for your will. Call 01536 276300 or email amy@seatons.co.uk. Until the end of October 2014 Seatons is offering 10 per cent of the price of wills.