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- It is Spring: Make a Will »
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Spring 2019It is Spring: Make a Will
As spring approaches, the days are getting longer and flowers are starting to bloom, there is a real sentiment of new beginnings.
The last thing on most people’s mind is to make a will, which is a legal document that states what should happen to your assets (your money, property, investments and possessions) as well as your young children after you have died.
Recently, my friend’s father died without a will. My friend was left to deal with his father’s estate (money, property, investments and possessions).
There was a time when he faced the prospect of his mother becoming homeless and the Crown could have decided what happened to his parents’ home. My friend then had to seek legal advice and obtain probate which can be both costly and stressful.
If there is no will and no living family members then all your property and possessions will go to the Crown and if you have children under 18, then other people can make decisions about their care, finances, education and living arrangements.
You owe it to yourself and your family members to clarify these issues in a formal document; so have a long think and keep things clear.
Making a will clarifies your wishes and enables you to give your loved ones financial protection after you die.
If you are a couple with similar wishes you may want to make mirror wills which are identical wills, with each person leaving their assets to the same beneficiaries in each will.
There are also tax implications for the estate such as inheritance tax that should be considered with specialist legal help.
By making a will you can:
- Appoint people you trust to look after your children under 18 years (called guardians)
- Appoint people you trust to carry out the terms of your will (called executors)
- Name the people or charities you want to benefit from your estate (called beneficiaries)
- Leave gifts of specific items or fixed sums of money (called legacies)
- Create trusts to help preserve wealth for future generations, protect against residential care costs or help vulnerable or disabled beneficiaries
- State your funeral wishes.
Making a will can be quick and easy when you receive the right guidance, and especially when you have a specialist to help you complete each step from start to finish.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Written by Hassan Ansari, Director and solicitor advocate at Pennine Solicitors. Based on Drake Street in Rochdale, Pennine Solicitors has been practising since 1999.