With 2018 over, is it really time to plan for 2019? Most of us have New Year resolutions; less eating, less drinking, more (or some) exercise, may be even a plan to tick some items of your bucket list.
But is it also time to think about that “kick the bucket” list? Is it time you made a new Will or reviewed your existing, perhaps out of date, Will?
If you have no Will
If you have not made a Will then the government dictates who gets your money, otherwise known as the dreaded “intestacy rules”. Most of us have no idea what these say or the issues they cause families on your death.
By making a Will you chose who sorts out your affairs (your “Executors”) and who gets your money (your “beneficiaries”). Executor and beneficiaries can be the same people and for many families should be!
If you have young children, you can choose who looks after them, (called “Guardians”) if both parents die before they reach 18.
If you have family you like less than others, you can write them out of the Will. We can advise if this actually works as Courts can sometimes overrule your decision!
Time to review your current Will?
Many of our clients make their Wills and consider the job done, glad to forget thinking about death whilst life carries on at its fast pace. So when should you re-read your Will?
My advice is to review your Will at least every 5 years, but more importantly when something happy or sad happens in your life: Have you lost a loved one? Gained a new family grandchild? Fallen out with someone? Had a significant inheritance? Moved home? Retired or heading towards retirement? Separating or divorcing? Gained a new partner? Got married? Need to protect money for future generations or loved ones with disabilities or serious issues such as gambling, drugs or alcoholism?
This dreaded tax on already taxed money seems the most unfair of them all and since 2007 the Government have been fiddling and faffing with rules making them ever more complex than before. “Tax does not have to be taxing” - I wish!.
When we make your Will, Wheelers can not only provide you with an Inheritance Tax calculation but also help you plan to mitigate this tax bill.
Peace of mind
Finally, a new Will gives you and your loved ones peace of mind knowing what happens on your death. We provide you with paper copies and scanned copies of your Will so you and your family know what the Will says and where it is stored. It is always your choice to keep it secret if you wish!
This year, make your New Year resolution to contact one of our specialist Will writing solicitors, who will help you make the right choices for your family and friends.
You can contact our Wills solicitors here