Making a Will is something that many people put off. However, it is important to take steps now to ensure that your family will be protected should the unthinkable happen.
Passing away without a Will can cause several issues:
An important function of your Will is to nominate individuals who you trust to handle the administration of your estate, called Executors. It will be your Executors' responsibility to ensure that your estate is gathered and distributed as per your intentions. This can be a difficult task lasting many months, so it is vital to choose someone you believe will be up to the task albeit the Executors would typically instruct solicitors to undertake the day to day work on their behalf. It is also possible to nominate a corporate body or trustee company, should you not wish to place this burden on any of your loved ones.
The most obvious function of your Will is to enable you to give your assets away to whom you would want to inherit them on your death. Without a formal written Will, your assets will be distributed under the laws of intestacy. These are the default laws that apply and provide fixed rules for who inherits what. If these rules were to be applied where no Will is in place, it is likely that assets would not be distributed as you would have wanted. Making a Will is the only way of guaranteeing that your wishes are followed, as informal writings and expressions of wishes prior to death are generally not taken into account where no Will is present.
Where no Will has been left, further court involvement in the process of winding up the estate is usually required. The courts will initially have to appoint executors, as none are appointed under a Will. This can be complicated where the family are in disagreement as to who should be selected. Court proceedings may also be brought by individuals who feel that they have a right to receive an inheritance from the deceased's estate.
Court proceedings invariably add significant cost and time to the executry process, at what is already a difficult time. These processes are easily avoidable by putting a Will in place in order that your intentions are clear as to what you would want to happen on your death.
Making a Will needs careful thought in order to consider how to protect your family and loved ones. The relatively small amount of time and cost invested now into putting a Will in place will ensure that you can be confident that when you do pass away your family will be well looked after financially, and will not face the additional burden of avoidable court procedures to receive these benefits.
Our personal, attentive service coupled with sage, astute and commercially-minded guidance, allow us to build long-term, ongoing relationships with our clients, helping them to protect assets throughout generations. We clearly outline the implications from initial contact, helping to dispel the mystery behind the law and legal process. Our highly personal service reflects our culture, which is centred on integrity and trust, and the expert guidance we provide has been designed to be an investment, not an expense.