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Why having a will (even a simple one) is better than dying without a will

Making a will can seem difficult, and the temptation to put it off until “another day” may be great. There are numerous justifications offered for not drafting a will, many of them are founded on false presumptions or a failure to recognise the significance of doing so.

It is strongly advised to have a straightforward will in place even if you do not have a sizable quantity of cash. You have a lot more flexibility with it, and you may decide who will inherit your possessions after you pass away. Without a will, the default laws of intestacy, as outlined by the law, would determine how your inheritance was divided. This may not be how you planned your possessions to be divided and may benefit those you did not intend to leave anything. Hence, in our legal advice, we would suggest appointing a power of attorney who will ensure nobody else gets to make decisions upon your death.

So, what protection does a simple will offer?

1. You can give your inheritance and estate plan to someone you trust

One significant benefit of having a straightforward will is that it enables you to expressly specify how you want your wealth and estate plan to be distributed after your passing. Without a will, your estate would be subject to stringent intestacy laws, and your assets would be divided regardless of your circumstances or preferences. The beneficiaries of your estate that you wish to leave something to may not receive anything, while the beneficiaries you did not want to leave something to may receive a sizable amount of your fortune.

For instance, even if you want your spouse to get everything, if you pass away without a will, they will only get a share of your assets.

The remaining, if any, would be given to your children (though that might not be appropriate if they are very young or vulnerable). Even if you hadn’t maintained in touch with them or didn’t get along with them well, distant relatives would receive the remaining portion of your wealth if you had no children. You wouldn’t give anything to others who are essential to you, like friends or charities. 

If you want your spouse to inherit all or part of your fortune and you are not married, having a will is crucial. Unfortunately, the laws of intestacy do not allow for this. Many people mistakenly believe that if they pass away without a will, their entire wealth will go to their spouse. Unless you have left a simple will, your partner does not automatically have the right to a portion of your wealth if you are not married or in a civil partnership. A cohabitant may have a claim under certain conditions, but it is not always valid.

2. You can decide who will care for your children

A simple will is an ideal place to name the guardians you wish to look after your children should you die. The best location to designate the guardians you want to take care of your children after your death is in a straightforward will.

3. You can appoint a probate who looks after your estate plan

You can designate someone you trust to handle your personal affairs when you pass away with a straightforward will (your “executor”). If you don’t have a will, your heirs may have to apply to the sheriff’s court to be named as your executor(s), and they might need to get insurance before the court will do so. Delays and administrative costs may result.

4. You can ensure that your funeral is the way you want it to be

A straightforward will can state your precise funeral wishes, such as the style of service you want, whether you want to be buried or cremated, and who you want to handle the funeral arrangements.

5. Estate tax planning is decided by a straightforward will.

Finally, creating a straightforward will enables you to take action to lessen the potential inheritance tax burden placed on your estate. For instance, any assets given to a spouse, civil partner, or charity are exempt from inheritance tax, but your estate would not completely benefit if some of the assets had to be given to beneficiaries who are not exempt in accordance with the intestacy regulations. 

In conclusion, creating a simple will allows you to have real control over how your estate is handled and distributed rather than leaving these decisions up to chance.

6. Solicitor help for wills and trusts

Creating a simple will is easy and quick with Clarity Simplicity. Contact us today and make sure you leave your personal property only to those you want to.