Expert help on common domestic legal issues from the team at Porter Dodson LLP.
The importance of a Will is often not realised until someone actually discusses their wishes, says Tom Mottram from Porter Dodson.
We have, in previous editions, advocated the importance of carefully considering and putting in place provision for the devolution of your estate.
It is often not until someone discusses their wishes and affairs that they recognise the importance of a Will.
We frequently deal with families and friends of individuals who have died without keeping theirs up to date. The implications for such parties can be extremely costly at what is already a difficult time. Below are three crucial reasons (and it is a non- exhaustive list) for putting your Will in place properly and making sure you keep it under regular review.
1. Ensuring your estate passes to your chosen beneficiaries
In the absence of a valid Will, the law will choose to whom your estate passes and how as well as who manages everything after your death. Often this will not be as you intend, or it may fail to recognise the specifics of your circumstances. For example, you may have lost touch with certain people or
feel that others are in greater financial need. One beneficiary may be more connected to your home, your affairs or your business.
Circumstances, wishes and rules change over time. Aspects such as these must be addressed if
confusion and upset are to be avoided. Otherwise disputes can arise, which are expensive to resolve.
2. Inheritance Tax
The government has frozen the tax-free allowance for several years, meaning more people may unknowingly find themselves in a taxable position. A professionally prepared Will can help to capture allowances and exemptions that the taxman has made available, allowing more of the estate to pass to your beneficiaries.
3. Protection and flexibility
Sometimes it may not be appropriate for an intended beneficiary to inherit. Perhaps they are young, financially irresponsible or experiencing matrimonial difficulties.
We’re here for you
We cannot issue you with a crystal ball (we keep this just for the lottery numbers), but we can prepare your Will so that your beneficiaries are looked after without risking their inheritance.
If you need to make or review a current Will, we can help you so that you make the decisions that are right for you and your family.
To find out more, contact Tom Mottram: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01305 756317.