Do you have a Will? If not, Why?

A recent survey “Do you have a Will?  If not, why?” carried out by Money Saving Expert, Martin Lewis has shown that less than 50% of adults have a current Will.

The 2 main reasons given for not writing a Will were “I’ve not got round to it” and “a Will isn’t necessary as everything will go to my spouse or children.”

Making a Will is really important. In your Will you can state who will receive your money and property on your death, rather than it being left to rules of Intestacy (the legal rules in place that state what happens if you do not have a Will).  If you die intestate your money and assets could go to family members you did not intend. Even if you are married, your spouse will not necessarily receive everything under the rules of Intestacy (dependant on the size of your estate). If you are not married and do not have a Will, your partner will not receive anything.

If you have minor children, you can appoint a Guardian of your choice in your Will. Appointing a Guardian gives that individual Parental Responsibility for your children if you die before them reaching the age of 18 (and there is nobody else left with Parental Responsibility).  In addition, your Will can incorporate a level of protection if children are to inherit, this can protect against negative circumstances such as divorce or bankruptcy which risk their inheritances being taken by unintended third parties.  A Will can also stipulate that children will not receive their inheritance until they reach a certain age, i.e. 21 (or older).

Occurrences of first, second or more marriages where one or both parties have children from former relationships are increasingly prevalent, unless prior steps are taken, once the new marriage is formalised, any existing Will is revoked, and the Intestacy rules will apply. The right planning will provide certainty and protection over your wishes such that the surviving spouse would not be able to disinherit the children either intentionally (by re-drafting their Will) or unintentionally (by their re-marriage or entry into the care system, for example).

Alongside Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney are becoming a standard part of planning for the future. A Lasting Powers of Attorney is a document that allows you to choose someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf regarding your property and affairs should you become unable to control your own affairs. Whilst every adult has the right to manage his or her own money and affairs, sometimes, our ability to do this decreases as we grow older. Whether this is caused by illness, disability, or an accident. Drawing up a Lasting Power of Attorney offers peace of mind and alleviates the stress and worry your family will face if you do become physically and mentally unable to control your own affairs, a situation nobody foresees.

At KBL Solicitors LLP, our specialist Private Client team have considerable experience in drafting every type of Will, from simple family Wills to more complex tax efficient Wills which minimise liability to inheritance tax. We’re here to help you make the right choices and plan for the future based on your own personal family circumstances. Over the years we have gained a unique understanding of the procedures and complexities involved in setting up processes to preserve and pass on your assets.

For confidential and personal advice please contact our Private Client team on 01204 527777 (Bolton) or 01254 268790 (Blackburn) or at