A suitable, well drafted will is the cornerstone of good estate planning. It is a document that every adult should consider making as soon as possible.
A will allows you to pass on your assets to others when you die and gives you control over what happens to your money, possessions and property.
Many people don't plan for what happens after they're gone. In fact, it is estimated that two thirds of adults in the UK do not have a will. Often, people assume that their assets are too insignificant to require legal advice or a formal document. However, if you die without having made a will your assets will pass in accordance with a set of rules called the 'intestacy rules'. These rules apply in an arbitrary manner.
For example, the intestacy rules do not recognise co-habitees who are unmarried and not in a Civil Partnership. Therefore, if you live with your partner and die without having made a will, your partner will not inherit any of your estate. The estate would instead pass to your surviving family (i.e. children, siblings, parents) and your partner would have to make a costly claim against the estate if appropriate. This can cause a serious amount of distress and damage to relationships and is to be avoided at all costs wherever possible.
Furthermore, you may have young children and wish to ensure that they are looked after by people of your choosing should the worst happen. Or, you may have pets or specific possessions that you wish to give to certain individuals on your death. All of these situations can be taken care of by simply putting in place a valid will.
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