Types of Wills
Why does only 30% of the population have a Will? We don't know the answer to that. After all, if the inevitable comes before a Will has been made, the level of paperwork levied on the family left behind is sizeable. There are many reasons to leave a Will, all of them provide peace of mind that your affairs are in order.
Why Leave a Will?
Leaving a Will means you can be sure that everything will be dealt with in the way you wish following your death. Making a Will gives you enormous peace of mind.
If you don't make a Will, the Intestacy Rules will govern how your estate is divided up. They determine which of your relatives receives how much which can lead to some nasty surprises. The Intestacy Rules do not provide at all for your friends or even for a partner who you may have lived with for years - they will inherit nothing. Under the Intestacy Rules, your step-children are not counted as your children and will not inherit anything either. It is only by making a Will that you can specify who will get what amount, and at what age they may inherit.
You can also appoint Guardians in your Will so that your children will be looked after by someone who cares for them. Without a Will, family members may have to go to court to get permission to look after them. While this is sorted out, your children may go into temporary care.
Appointing an Executor
Executors will need to be appointed to deal with the practicalities of your estate. If you don't make a Will, you have no control over who this will be, although it is usually a family member. You may prefer to appoint a professional, such as a solicitor or accountant - someone who will not be suffering the distress of bereavement.
Life Interest Wills
A Life Interest Will can protect specific beneficiaries’ inheritance at the same time as ensuring financial security for your spouse.
For example, a standard Will leaving everything to your partner would mean your assets would become theirs when you died. Then, on their death, those assets are passed on to their beneficiaries – potentially totally depriving your children from a former marriage of any inheritance.
However, a Life Interest Will allows you to avoid this situation, keeping you in control of where your assets are distributed. If you own your home outright and want to leave it to your children but allow your partner to live in it after you have died, you can give your partner a life interest in the property.
Protective Trust Wills
Parents of disabled children are often unsure of the best way to provide for their child's future which can lead to delays in making a Will. However, if you don't make a Will or don’t put enough provision in a Will for a disabled child, there is a risk of a challenge later on by the child, or the local authority acting on the child's behalf. This can then impact on your other children, or other beneficiaries within the Will.
However, by setting up a Protective Trust, you can protect your child from these problems. In a Protective Trust Will your child's entitlement to means tested benefits is not affected as they do not ‘own’ the trust money until it is paid out to them. The estate also does not have to involve the Court of Protection should there be any issues relating to mental capacity.
Under a Protective Trust Will, your child's interests and inheritance are protected by the trustees and you can be reassured that their inheritance will go towards ensuring that they have the best quality of life possible.
Joint Ownership of Property
There are two ways you can jointly own property with someone else, and the way you own property can have huge knock-on effects for what happens on your death. Do you know how you own your property? If not, contact us. We can find out for you and advise on what this means for you. If you need to change how you own your property, we can easily do this for you.
If you need to make an adjustment to an existing Will, this can sometimes be done by drafting a Codicil document and attaching it to your existing Will, special considerations apply.
Why use Lawson-West’s Family Lawyers?
At Lawson West we have highly-qualified Probate and Wills specialist solicitors who want to help.
We're known for our supportive and caring approach. Our people are genuine and friendly.
We provide a clear estimate of costs upfront and provide regular updates.
Our solicitors are extremely experienced and intelligent individuals who deal with complex estates every day and have depth of experience to advise on wealth protection across land ownership, personal wealth, family wealth, property and mixed asset portfolios.
Several of our clients are owner-managers of businesses and Directors of companies and we help advise directors and their families on Trusts, Wills and IHT planning with an overview of all their assets and pensions. We also provide advice on LPAs for Businesses.
We will treat you like an individual, not just another client.
Make time to create your Will today.
Get in touch today. We want to help.
Christian Jenkins, Probate & Wills Solicitor, Lawson-West Market Harborough
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