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Why you need a Will
What is a Will?
A Will is essentially a document that sets out what you would like to happen to your possessions after you die and sets out instructions for who will inherit your estate. A Will must be signed and witnessed.
A Will also typically includes details of funeral instructions as well as instructions on appointing guardians and/or trustees for children, if you have them. It is the final opportunity a testator has to make sure their loved ones are taken care of in the way they want.
There are many important reasons for having a Will, among them are:
1. Your assets go where you want them to go
When you die without leaving a Will, you are classified as having died ‘intestate’. In this case, your estate is distributed according to the law under the Succession Act. Having your estate divided in this manner may not be what you would have wanted.
If you want to dictate who inherits what in relation to your estate, it is vital that you make a Will so that you can decide how your assets will be distributed on your death, ensuring you have the control over how your estate is divided and who benefits from it.
2. Marriage revokes a Will
Are you a newlywed? If you get married your Will is automatically revoked, unless your Will was made in anticipation of that marriage. If you make another Will, the first Will you made is then automatically revoked.
3. Unmarried couples – a Will protects your partner
It is also just as important for an unmarried couple to have a Will, so that proper arrangements can be made for your partner. Unmarried couples do not automatically inherit on the death of their partner. If you are in a cohabiting relationship and you die without a will, your partner has no automatic right to any portion of your estate no matter how long you have been together.
Making a Will can ensure that your partner is provided for in the event of your death and that your property is distributed in the way you wish after you die.
A Will is especially important if you have children under the age of 18 so that you can appoint a testamentary guardian for minor children to look after them and appoint trustees if your intended beneficiaries are minors until they reach a nominated age. The trustees will hold the assets/property until the minor reaches the nominated age specified in your Will. It is important to note also that if a stepparent dies without leaving a will (i.e., dies intestate), their stepchildren do not automatically inherit any share of their estate.
There are many issues that can arise in a scenario where both parents are involved in a tragic accident and die at the same time which raises questions as to who will manage things legally and financially for the children, where will the children live, who will administer the estate? If the worst did happen, it should be you and your spouse who make the decisions on guardianship and trustees of the estate.
5. You choose your executors
You can decide who will administer your affairs after your death in your Will, i.e., your executors. This is the person who will handle your estate and will be in charge of taking care of all your affairs.
Choosing your executor in advance enables you to pick the most suitable person for the task. The person you choose as executor should be someone you trust to carry out the task and who is capable in seeing to its completion.
6. Clever tax-planning
By making a Will, you may be able to reduce the amount of payable inheritance tax, that could have otherwise arisen in an intestacy situation. Don’t give you money to the Revenue unnecessarily.
7. Less stress more success
Without a Will, the intestacy process can sometimes unfortunately lead to disagreements and arguments, making things more contentious, time-consuming and expensive for your loved ones.
By making a Will, you provide a guide for your loved ones to follow, giving you peace of mind and a roadmap for them.
It is important to update your Will and to review your Will every so often, as and when your circumstances and needs change.
WHY CHOOSE ROE SOLICITORS?
We have extensive experience in dealing with all matters relating to Wills & Probate. If you are looking to speak with an experienced solicitor, then please get in touch today for a no obligation quote.
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