Writing a will should be at the top of your to do list this winter. It may seem like a small omission but not writing a will can cause problems for remaining family members in the unfortunate event that you die. It’s not just rich people that are required to write a will, you should divide your assets no matter how small they are, for the following 5 reasons:
1. Legal obligations dictate how the money, property and possessions should be allocated if you die without a will. This could cause upset and distress to certain members of your family as they may not inherit what they hoped for.
2. As cohabiting or unmarried couples are not legally recognised in the UK, it is important to add them as a beneficiary in your will, or they will have no legal entitlement to any inheritance. This could cause severe financial problems for partners who share a home or other important assets, as these could automatically be awarded to different family members.
3. It is especially important to stipulate your preference of childcare in the event of your death if you have children under 18 years of age. Failure to do so could mean that the children end up living with family members that you would have not wanted or even ending up in a care or foster home.
4. Inheritance tax may be higher when a person has not left a will. This can be avoided if advice is taken in advance and a will is made.
5. Any significant changes in circumstances mean that you should update an existing will. For example if you no longer live with an ex-partner you may wish to remove their name from your will so that they will not inherit your possessions.
Drawing up a will can be a cheap and easy process with the help of a solicitor, so there is no excuse for not sorting one out right away. If you need further guidance on wills or inheritance issues you can visit a Citizens Advice Bureau to discuss your worries.
Walker Smith Way are collaborative lawyers who can assist with Wills Cheshire
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