Why Should I Make A Will?

Willa and Probate

‘Why Should I Make a Will?’ Trainee Solicitor Michael Radze-Constable discusses the frequently asked question in his latest blog…

Life provides the ability to make decisions. We decide on outcomes and plan for the future. In death, we lose the control we have become accustomed to during our existence. One element we can control regarding death is what happens to our property, our possessions and our finances. Our will is a way of retaining this element of control. However, naturally, people do not wish to think about their death. They may therefore, procrastinate about if they should make a Will or avoid the subject altogether.

What Happens If I Die Without A Will?

Dying without a Will is known as dying “intestate”. There is no personal plan in place, detailing who gets what. Your assets are distributed via legal default. This will not consider what you may have personally wished for. The law will also not consider how close you may have been to certain relatives. Your assets will be distributed in accordance with the same intestacy rules as any other person who has died intestate.

The Intestacy Rules

The English and Welsh intestacy rules are set out in the Administration of Estates Act 1925 but have been updated over the years:
-A husband, wife or civil partner keeps all your personal chattels (belongings) and the first £270,000 (including property) of your estate.
-The husband, wife or civil partner acquires an “absolute interest” (full rights) over half the remainder
-The other half is then divided equally between any surviving children
-If a child has already died, then their share will pass down the line to lineal descendants
-If you have no children, your surviving spouse will inherit everything else left in the estate

Why Does This Mean I Should Make A Will?

Writing a will allows you to support those who matter to you the most. A Will can also be used to ensure that you give away your assets in a tax efficient manner and a will can also be used to protect assets from the effects of long term care fees, re-marriage and children from a previous relationship.

The “Update Your Will Week” (23rd-29th January) is an opportunity to reflect on the importance of making a Will:
-70% of UK parents have no legal guardian in place to care for children in the event of their death
-Only 4 in 10 UK adults have a Will despite owning a property
-An estimated 30 million adults in Britain lack a Will altogether

How Can Timms Help?

At Timms, we offer a friendly and efficient service, and we can prepare a Will for you that reflects your wishes and circumstances.
For further information please contact me, on 01332 364436 or at m.radze-constable@timms-law.com.

Michael Radze-Constable

January 2023

Blog by Area of Expertise