Why make a Will? – Ten situations where a Will is essential
There are many reasons to make a Will, including leaving possessions to friends and loved ones, making sure loved ones are properly provided for and leaving lasting gifts or legacies to a favourite charity. But a Will is particularly necessary in the following circumstances, when the intestacy rules are likely to produce an outcome contrary to the deceased’s wishes:
- Couples who are living together but are not legally married or in a civil partnership but who wish their partner to inherit some or all of their estate.
- Couples who are legally married or in a civil partnership and have children and who wish the spouse/civil partner to inherit all of the estate.
- Couples who are legally married or in a civil partnership and want to ensure their children receive a larger share of the estate than under the current rules.
- People with no living relatives who wish to leave their estate to friends (the Crown may take an estate if a person dies leaving no Will and no surviving relatives).
- Those who are legally married or in a civil partnership and don’t wish their spouse/civil partner to inherit anything.
- People who are legally married or are in a civil partnership and have children from a previous relationship and who wish to ensure that those children receive something from the estate.
- People who wish to provide for dependent relatives e.g. minor children, elderly relatives or relatives with a disability who have special needs. When a Will is drawn up, people should appoint guardians to look after any children and set up trusts to provide for dependants.
- If you're divorced or if your civil partnership has been dissolved, you can decide whether to leave anything to an ex-partner.
- To make arrangements for tax planning where the estate is large and may be liable for Inheritance Tax.
- To leave a lasting gift or legacy to a charity.
The Laws of England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland differ in many respects. This is just one of many reasons why anybody making a Will must get proper advice from a solicitor from the country in question.