Free Wills month
Free Wills Month: 5 reasons to make a will
Free Wills Month returns in October 2021 and offers members of the public aged over 55 the opportunity to have their wills written or updated for free. Participating solicitors across England, Northern Ireland and Wales will advertise this service, and you can book an appointment to make a simple will. But why make a will? In this article, we set out five reasons it is essential to make a will.
1. Provide for your loved ones
Making a will is the only way to ensure that your assets are distributed as you would wish after you pass away. This is particularly important if you have loved ones that you want to provide for.
If you pass away without leaving a will, your estate will be distributed in line with the laws of intestacy. The intestacy rules do not account for modern family structures or take into account your personal circumstances. As a result, if you wish to provide for children, stepchildren, a partner that you live with or any other person it is essential that you make a will to reflect your wishes.
2. Leave a gift to charity
Charities in the UK rely on gifts and donations to survive. If there is a particular cause or charity you believe in, you may wish to consider leaving them a gift in your will.
3. Protect your assets
A big part of the will-making process involves estate planning and protecting your wealth for future generations. When you make a will, you can structure your estate in a way which is tax-efficient and ensures you leave behind as much as possible for your loved ones.
4. Avoid family disputes
No one likes to think that their family will become involved in a dispute, but a death in the family is a highly sensitive time. If it has not been made clear who you wish to inherit from your estate, or where an important person in your life has not been provided for, you may be leaving your loved ones in a difficult situation. In the most challenging cases, court action may be necessary to secure provision for dependants which can be costly and a long process. The best way to protect your family from potential disputes is to draft a will and discuss your wishes with them.
5. Choose the people you trust to handle your affairs
In your will, you can set out who you wish to be the executors of your estate. You should choose people you trust, but also those most capable of carrying out the role. For example, you may need a digital executor to manage your digital assets and online accounts, so this should be someone who is confident with technology.