Making a Will
Why doesn’t everyone make one?
Over 60% of us die without a will.
Many people still believe that a will is complicated and expensive. It is not an expensive exercise and should not be complicated.
If you leave things to chance, unnecessary heartache and loss can be caused to loved ones.
A will – the main advantages
You choose who benefits from your estate and by how much.
You protect your loved ones and so give yourself and them lasting peace of mind.
You avoid the rigid rules of intestacy (dying without having made a will) which can restrict the inheritance of your husband, wife or partner. Worse still, other loved ones could be excluded altogether.
You decide who looks after your estate by appointing trusted persons as executors.
You will wish to choose your executors carefully as the running of your estate could be time consuming and perhaps complex, particularly if there are family disputes.
If you have children – particularly young children – you will wish to appoint guardians to be sure that your children are cared for by people you trust with values and principles you support.
You can make sensible provisions to reduce or in some cases completely avoid inheritance tax. Inheritance tax used to be the concern of the “super rich” only. However, substantial rises in house prices in the last few years have meant that the tax threshold of £325,000 can easily be crossed. 40% in every pound above the limit is payable in inheritance tax. Few people relish the prospect of the public purse enjoying two-fifths of their estate above the threshold.
When should I make a will?
You should make a will once you attain 18 and own reasonably substantial assets. This is usually in the form of your first house or perhaps an inheritance.
We know, of course, that there are much more exciting things to do than make a will. It is, however, easy to put this off for years and no one knows how long they are going to live. It is wise, therefore, not to ignore the main triggering factors. These include buying your first property, moving in with a partner, making a pre-marital agreement, getting married, entering into a civil partnership, having children or separating from a partner and/or divorce.
Can I change my will?
Yes, provided you are ‘of sound mind’.
Your personal financial circumstances will change over time. You are likely to want to amend your will or make a new one to reflect these changes.
We suggest you review your Will at least once every 5 years.
Do I need a solicitor to make a will?
No. However, if you make a will yourself you stand the risk of making a Will which is invalid or financially inefficient.
It is certainly sensible to take advice from legally qualified staff who have the necessary experience to ensure that an efficient and clear will is made for you. A solicitor will be able to advise you on the law as it applies to your will.
At Gross & Company we provide clear and practical advice in a friendly environment to help you to decide what to include in your will and how best to reflect your wishes.
As one of our clients, we regard your needs as special, so we prefer to have a face-to-face meeting to discuss your circumstances and wishes. However, there are times when this is not possible and we’ll be happy to advise you according to your needs.
What else can we offer?
- Advance Decision (previously Living Will)
- Lasting Powers of Attorney
- Administration of Estates and Trusts
- Tax Planning
- Deputyships under the Court of Protection
- Financial issues for the more mature client including care costs