As the NHS gears up for what could be the “toughest ever” winter many people are beginning to think about ways of protecting themselves and their families.
2020 has undoubtedly been a year of many twists and turns and as we look ahead at the remaining months of the year, now may be a good time to consider creating a Will.
Why do I need a Will this winter?
In the event of your death, if there is no Will in place, you would have no say on how your belongings and assets are distributed. Your estate (what you own) would therefore be governed by strict legal rules known as “intestacy rules”.
Many people assume that intestacy rules will provide for loved ones in the way that they might have wanted. However, this may not be the case and consequently, making a Will is the only way to control who inherits what – and when - after your death.
Usually, the intestacy rules distribute your estate to your closest living relatives (closest in terms of family line – not necessarily relationship), but this can have unforeseen consequences that many people aren’t aware of.
For example, an unmarried couple who have lived together for many years would not be entitled to anything from each other’s estate because they are not legally married and therefore neither would qualify to inherit under the intestacy rules.
Provisions for your children
Creating a Will can ensure you have appropriate provisions in place to protect your children and appoint legal guardians to act in the event of your death if they are under the age of 18.
Some situations may need a little more consideration. For example, if you are living with someone in a house that you own, you can ensure that your cohabitee can continue to live in the house after your death if you include a trust in your Will. This can be drafted so that the house reverts to your family, children or other chosen beneficiaries when the cohabitee dies (or if another event occurs such as marriage to someone else after your death).
Many people have different circumstances and are put off making a Will because they think it will be difficult to make adequate provision for their loved ones. However, it is important to seek professional legal advice to make provisions for your family in the event of your death.
How can we help?
We can help you navigate various family dynamics and guide you through the many options available to give you peace of mind that your family will be looked after in event of your death.
When considering a Will, many people are concerned about the amount of tax that will be due on their death. Our team can calculate how much inheritance tax might be due (if any) and suggest alternative structures to maximise the available reliefs and exemptions.
Our Private Client team will continue to work throughout the winter and are able to work remotely to ensure our clients can continue to receive the best possible advice and service. Our teams are constantly reviewing the Government guidelines and following all social distancing measures as the safety of our staff and our clients is of paramount importance to us.