Why have a will?

If you do not have a will:


Your possessions will be shared out in the standard way by the Intestacy Rules, rather than how you would like.


If there is no one with parental responsibility for your children under 18, the Court will decide who should be their guardian; it may not be who you would chose and no one else has the right to make that decision instead (including your children’s next of kin).


Administration of an estate (i.e. distributing your assets to the right people) without a Will can take years and be expensive.


Husbands and wives are not automatically entitled to inherit everything from each other.


If you are not married or in a civil partnership, your partner will not inherit from you unless you have a Will, however long you have lived together.


If you are going through a divorce process but the divorce hasn’t been finalised, your spouse will still benefit under the Intestacy Rules as if they are still your spouse.


You may wish to leave something to friends or charities; this will only happen if you make a Will.


A carefully prepared Will can minimise the amount of IHT paid.