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Do you have more than £5,000 or own a property?
Are you living as unmarried partners or planning to marry?
Do you have children or are you thinking about starting a family?
Are you separated from your spouse?
Are you concerned about Inheritance Tax?
If you have answered yes to any of the above questions, you should write a Will.
A large part of our lives is spent working to provide for ourselves, and our family. But we should also think about what will happen after we are gone. Without a Will, the government (through the Laws of Intestacy) will decide how your estate is divided when you die. Under these laws, even if you are married, your surviving spouse may not inherit all of your assets, and if you have children they would be able to claim their share of your estate when they turn 18 (16 in Scotland). By writing a Will you can ensure your assets go to the people you want to leave them to and at an age you want them to receive it. If you are living as unmarried partners, the surviving partner may receive nothing at all and your estate will default to your parents. This could have further Inheritance Tax implications which can be avoided by writing a Will.
Most people know the importance of making a Will, but for one reason or another never get around to it or think that because they do not have considerable savings or property, they do not need to. In fact, if you are worth more than £5,000 at your death, your assets will be frozen and no one will be able to benefit from them until probate is granted. Having a Will can minimise your family’s financial difficulties and help them to avoid lengthy legal proceedings at the time of their bereavement. It can also ensure your estate and/or children will be looked after by the persons of your choosing, as well as helping to reduce Inheritance Tax.
Great – you are ahead of most, but let us review it for you. Legislation, your personal circumstances and financial position are constantly changing, so let us make sure your existing Will reflects both your current position and for the years to come. Furthermore, you may find your existing Will appoints the company who wrote it as the executors of the Will, which could prove very costly to your estate in the future. James McKenzie do not charge any fee for reviewing existing Wills, so for the added peace of mind, what have you got to lose? Let us review your Will today.
Burying your head in the sand will only put unnecessary distress upon your loved ones at the time when they will need all the support available to them. To have assets frozen from their reach, or additional tax liabilities facing them, would just add to an already upsetting time. Let us help you think about this just the one time, and take the hassle and pressure off you arranging your Will, whilst protecting your loved ones for the future.
James McKenzie specialise in Wills for those in active employment through their corporate benefits, so statistically you are unlikely to need to use the Will in the near future. However, when deaths do occur for our younger demographic, they are frequently a result of sudden, unexpected circumstances. This means there is no time to prepare for such an event and it often leaves the financial situation incomplete. With mortgages outstanding and savings undocumented, this results in greater complications for your loved ones to resolve on death. This is especially true when a young family is left behind, with the effects of an early death felt many years to come. And the question we at James McKenzie always ask is “Why would you not want that peace of mind?” Protect your family today when these will most certainly still be your wishes tomorrow.
There are certainly occasions when a Will is not required. But for most people in active employment who have some degree of savings, a Will is required. If you have a long-term partner or spouse, own a property and have, or are planning for children a Will becomes a necessity. Before considering whether you do or do not need a Will, speak with one of our consultants to understand the implications of what would happen without a Will, so you can make a well-informed decision.