What happens to your property, money and possessions after your death is a concern for many people, and the best way to ensure that your estate is disposed of in line with your wishes is to make a will.
If circumstances change during your lifetime, you can also amend your will by adding a codicil or executing a new document.
By making a will, you can ensure that you pay the minimum Inheritance tax on your estate.
An outline of probate, wills and inheritance can be found at the government’s own website.
Although you can write your own will and get it formally witnessed and signed, your estate could be complex. If so, it is best to seek legal advice. Wherever you are located, Mayfair, Mansfield or Manchester solicitors who are equipped to advise you can be found at sites such as https://bridgelawsolicitors.co.uk/offices/wilmslow-manchester/.
Using a solicitor is a good idea if you share a property with someone who is not your wife, husband or civil partner, or if you wish to leave property or money to a dependent who cannot look after themselves.
Other issues may arise if there are family members who may challenge your will, such as a second spouse or children from a previous relationship. You may have assets overseas or a business, in which case getting a professional to draw up your will and advise on possible tax relief is recommended.
Your will should set out who the beneficiaries are, care for any children under 18, what happens if a beneficiary pre-deceases you, and who is to carry out your wishes and act as executor of the will.
You should also ensure you keep your will in a safe place, either with your solicitor or bank or in a will storage facility. Always ensure a third party, ideally the executor, knows where your will is kept.
Although people often do not want to think about events after death, it is vital not to delay in making a will once you begin to accumulate assets, including pension rights. Making a will means that you will save your family or partner unnecessary distress at what is already a difficult time for them.
Without a will, everything will be shared in a manner defined by law and may not reflect your wishes.