Making a will is never on the list of things that need to be done at once, but given what’s at stake perhaps it should be, explain East Cheshire Wills of Macclesfield.
No one relishes the idea of thinking about their own death and yet it is vital to give it some consideration because if you die without a will it can make life even more difficult for the loved ones you leave behind.
New findings from unbiased.co.uk show that 29.5 million people. Or 60 per cent of us are currently without a will. While many of us fail to update old ones.
In fact those with a will have not updated it in the past ten years.
Many hate the thought of having to plan ahead for a time when we may not be around to support our family but taking action now.
People assume even if they don’t have a will everything will go to their loved ones, but this is not the case.
If you don’t have a will your estate is distributed according to the laws of intestacy. You don’t decide who gets what, the government does.
The rules of intestacy depends on the value of your estate, whether you are married and if you have children.
A will can also be an effective way of reducing your liability to inheritance tax.
A recent survey found that one in ten people had argued with each other family members over a will and one in four of those said it caused a family rift.
The changing face of the family means that 1 in 3 families have step children and this can lead to serious problems if individuals do not think ahead.
The law of succession means that jointly owned assets automatically pass to the survivor, and this can leave one partner or spouses children disinherited.
If the surviving spouse/partner remarries then passes away before the new spouse. Every penny could go to a complete strangers children.
Also a will can protect disabled children from losing their benefits and unreliable children or estranged children from inheriting at the wrong time.
A will, of course, is only effective on death. Then it becomes useful in directing assets where they are meant to go.
Should a surviving spouse have to spend the last years of their life in a residential care home then everything could be spent on that care and the inheritance is diminished considerably.
By the correct steps being taken when a person is young enough assets can be protected from many threats.
Should someone lose capacity either physically or mentally then a will is not much help at this point. A lasting power of attorney document gives loved ones peace of mind that if needed others can step in quickly and pay bills and deal with affairs when you are no longer in a position to do so.
And don’t forget the pets and cherished possessions.
Without instructions left behind no one will know what you would like to happen to you (i.e. funeral arrangements) and your beloved pets and chattels. Things that are precious and people would again fall out over. Like wedding rings, value picture and that signed picture of Eric Cantona!
All in all it is vital to see a specialist as soon as possible to get your affairs in order, it should be too expensive ,but could be the most vital investment you ever make for ‘peace of mind’.