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70% of the population don’t have a Will! Make sure that your assets go where you want them to by putting a Will together today.
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When should I make or update my will?
There's never a bad time to make a will, or update it if you've already made one, but in these following situations, it's a good idea to do so with some urgency:
- Marriage, living with a partner, divorce, or family bereavement
- Children – if you haven’t appointed guardians, the probate court decides who looks after them!
- Buying / moving house
- Change in financial circumstances
No Will? Top 5 assumptions!
If you die without a Will (intestate), you gamble over who will be in charge of looking after your affairs (money, property, etc) and who will get what (beneficiaries). This usually causes heartache, arguments, and unnecessary expenses. In some cases this might mean the Government collects the lot!
I don't need a Will as I'm not worth that much...
Wrong! Anyone who has any assets such as bank accounts, car, flat / house, furniture, life insurance, etc should have a Will. A Will states who looks after this if you die, and who will receive the benefit.
My wife or husband will get everything...
Wrong! Your wife or husband will not necessarily get everything. If you die without a Will the government has specific legal rules over who gets what - Intestacy Rules. These rules are inflexible and state the amount the spouse will get, and the rest is shared with the close family of the deceased, and not both families. The same rules apply to same sex Civil Partnerships. Where there are children, the spouse gets a certain amount, and the remainder is shared with the children, but held in a trust until they’re 18!
My partner will get everything... i.e. unmarried
Wrong! Under UK law and where there is no Will, a partner has NO automatic right to any assets and property of their partner, even though they may have been in a relationship for decades. Intestacy rules apply and the beneficiaries are close relatives instead.
My children will be ok, even if we both die...
Only partly right! If you die after your wife/husband, then your children will inherit your estate equally, BUT they will get everything at age 18 which may be too young. It is better to delay the age to, say 25 years with the right adults (Trustees) looking after the money until then. All the money etc will still be available for housing, welfare, etc. If there is no Will, then no Guardians will be appointed to act as 'parent' for your children until they're 18.
I'm not married, I don't have children - my brothers and sisters will get everything...
Wrong! Everything you own goes to the surviving parent(s) which may add to their Inheritance Tax bill as you are passing money, assets, property, etc 'up a generation'.