I haven’t got a will. So what?

Well, for starters, you are far from alone; nearly three quarters of UK citizens don’t have an up to date will or have no will at all. There is also no legal obligation on you to make a will but, and there is always a but, the unpleasant and traumatic things that can happen to your loved ones you leave behind when you die, as a result of not having a will (or dying intestate, as it is legally termed) are many and profound. They are:

• You will not have any control on what happens to your property.

• There could well be serious conflict within your family about how your property is divided between them.

• There might not be enough financial provision for your spouse.

• Costs, including more tax and delays that otherwise would have been avoidable will be incurred by your family.

• Your desire that the family home not be sold could be ignored.

• Business partners might be left unprotected resulting in a forced business sale.

• If you were co-habiting, your partner will usually have no right to any part of your estate.

Contact one of our specialist Wills Solicitors as soon as possible to find out how to avoid any of the above ever happening. It’s not as expensive as you might think and the amount of misery and uncertainty that you will spare your family and friends by making a will cannot be underestimated.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way

OK, we’ve pretty well covered the horrors than can ensue if you die without making a will. Let’s look at the upside and discover the benefits of dying with an up to date will safely deposited with your Wills Solicitor (or under the bed in a biscuit tin if you’re a bit of a risk taker). Here are the main benefits:

• You get to appoint your executor (the person who deals with your estate).

• Your family and those you care about are provided for.

• You get to decide who looks after your children.

• Tax payable on your death is minimised.

• Family and friends get the gifts you always wanted them to have.

• Property disputes between first and second families are avoided.

• Your co-habitee is provided for if you were unmarried.

• There is a smooth business handover to your business partner(s).

OK, let’s make a will

Right, that’s pretty much clinched it. You want to make out a will, but how do you go about it? Getting in touch with one of our specialist Wills Solicitors is a very useful first step as there is much to consider and the advice you receive will be comprehensive and tailored to your personal circumstances. In a nutshell you will have to think about the following points:

• The total value of your property, including your home(s), business, savings, insurance and pension policies and personal possessions.

• Who you would like to benefit from your will.

• Your business interests.

• Who you would like to be your executor.

• Your tax situation and the effects of inheritance tax.

• Who you want to look after your children.

• Any special arrangements for your funeral – .

Is there anything else I should know?

Don’t forget to ask our Wills Solicitors about the following:

Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) – and why you might need one

• Free storage of your will by us

Need a new or updated will? Contact our specialist Salisbury team

For free initial advice about making a new will, or updating your existing will, simply;

• Call us on SALISBURY (01722) 4223000 or

• Email our Salisbury Solicitors at salisbury@bishopslaw.com

• or complete the online enquiry form below