As the saying goes, two things in life are certain - death and taxes!
So why do so many people not prepare for this?
Whilst we may all be aware that death and taxes are a certainty, it doesn’t make it any easier to talk about. This means that we often keep things to ourselves and do not discuss them with our loved ones. As a nation, we are very reserved when it comes to talking about money, and death, and often feel that we are ‘tempting fate’ to talk about these things. However, burying our heads in the sand can make this a minefield for the people we leave behind when the time does come!
Nowadays people’s lifestyles can be more complex than ever – with second marriages, unmarried couples, split families, step families and more valuable assets, to name just a few. It has therefore never been more important to ensure that your affairs are in order.
A Will can be a very simple document that just makes things easier for those you leave behind. It gives directions about who is to sort things out, what type of funeral service you want, who is guardian for any young children you have and who will receive your assets. However, a Will can also do much more.
A Will can be written to take into account future circumstances - such as what would happen if a child divorced, or at what age any children/grandchildren should inherit. It can be written to take into account any possible Inheritance Tax issues on your death and to try and reduce, or in some cases, eliminate these.
A Will can also protect of your assets, to ensure that they pass to your loved ones in the event of your surviving spouse remarrying or even going into care. It allows you to ring-fence your assets so that your spouse/partner can have some benefits of them for a certain length of time, but if they were to remarry or cohabit with someone else, or on their death, they your assets return to your chosen beneficiaries. This can be a great way of protecting a spouse/partner whilst making sure any children will still ultimately benefit.
Having a Will is essential to ensure that your wishes are reflected and your loved ones know what to do.