Wills & Document Storage

Why should I make a Will?

Making a Will is one of the most important decisions you will ever make and it is our role to fully support you throughout the process.      We spend years building up our own personal fortune and then fail to take the necessary step to ensure this is passed on to the people we care the most about.   The only way to ensure that this happens is to make a Will.    If you do not have a Will, your assets will be distributed according to the Rules of Intestacy which can be a complicated, lengthy and costly process.    This can result in your estate not being distributed for months and in some extreme cases, years.   

Did you know that currently 67% of the population still don’t have a Will.   We understand that there could be many reasons for this in that it isn’t something  they think they need, or they just haven’t got around to doing it yet or just thinking about making a Will brings feelings of sadness and we completely understand why you would feel like this.     Having no Will, however, can cause problems such as financial hardship and stress for your family at the worst possible time and in our experience, once you have taken this step, people feel a great sense of relief and have peace of mind in knowing that everything will be handled in accordance with their wishes.   We cannot stress the importance of taking the time now to prepare your Will as this is the only way to ensure that your estate is passed to the people you care about  and that your children will be well cared for.

Reasons to make a Will

There are so many good reasons for making a Will and we have outlined below just a few:-

  • You can put your affairs in order and provide for your spouse, civil partner and family.  
  • If you are a parent, and have children under 18 you can appoint a guardian to look after them as well as making proper financial arrangements to ensure they are given the best possible care.
  • You can ensure your children still inherit in the event of any re-marriage
  • If you have step-children you can provide for them to ensure that their future is secure as under the ‘Intestacy Rules’ step-children are not counted as your children and would therefore inherit nothing     
  • You can protect your spouse or partner from having to sell their home on your death   
  • You can provide protection for a disabled person in a way which will not affect their benefits and will not put them at risk of being taken advantage of.
  • If you are living with someone but are not married or do not have a civil partnership in place, you can make sure they are able to stay in your house if you died and receive whatever inheritance you decide.
  • If you are single, you may want your estate to go to friends and charities as well as your family
  • You can reduce the amount of inheritance tax payable upon your estate 
  • You can let your family know what sort of funeral you would like which can be an extremely difficult decision for them to make if they did not know your wishes.

Failure to make a Will may put your estate and the future of your loves ones at risk which is not something any of us would want to happen.   By taking this important step now, you are in control of what happens to your property.

What happens if I don’t have a Will?

If you die without making a valid Will or without making a Will at all, the law sets out who can deal with your estate and who will inherit accordingly to the ‘Rules of Intestacy’.     Instead of your property passing to the people you would have wanted, it is left to certain relatives in a particular order.    Whilst the Rules aim to take care of spouses, civil partners and biological children, they do not make any provision for unmarried partners, step-children, friends, pets or charities.

In addition, by not having a Will, there will be no-one to manage your assets until the Court appoints someone on your behalf.    Depending on the value of your estate, your spouse could suffer financially and may not receive everything on your death despite being your next of kin.    Having a Will is not just about ensuring that all your possessions go where you want or that your family is looked after, more and more people fall into the IHT bracket.    Homeowners will pay billions in increased Inheritance Tax to the Government.  Making a Will ensures that you are in control of what happens to your estate, you protect your interests and those of your loved ones.

Why have secure document storage?

Your Will is one of the most important documents that you will ever sign, and therefore it is vital that your Will is stored safely.     If you decide to keep it at home, which is quite acceptable, you need to consider the risk of fire, theft, flooding or pests.     

You also need to ensure that someone you trust knows of its whereabouts as if it cannot be found then your estate would normally be treated as if you had died intestate and your assets may not be distributed as per your wishes.   

As part of our service, we can store your Will on your behalf in a safe and secure environment and arrange for the same to be registered with Willdata.    In addition, you and your Executors will be issued with ID cards so that your Will can be easily retrieved as and when required. 

Please telephone us on 01246 433787/07985 287245 or email us at info@familywillsep.co.uk for more information.