In the second part of our life and estate planning series, Donna Mahoney discusses why writing a Will is so important, and what will happen if you do not do so. Our first video outlined what end of life planning is and what it entails.
In this video we consider:
- What happens if you do not write a Will,
- what practicalities to consider when writing a Will,
- the importance of open communication with your relatives and friends during this time,
- and why you should consider writing a Will at a younger age.
You can watch the video below. At Price Bailey, our Will writers are members of the internationally recognised Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), and also hold advanced certificates in Will writing. We also have access to qualified accountants, solicitors, and tax advisors, which is crucial in particular for larger and more complex estates. If you would like advice or support writing a Will, you can contact Heidi using the form below.
“I think a Will puts you back in the driving seat as to what’s going to happen with your estate. If you’ve got no Will we have a set of legislation that determines how your estate is to be distributed, and that’s effectively decided by the Government in an Act of Parliament.
Very often people want different divisions than set out in that legislation, particularly if they have an unmarried partner, or they care for stepchildren, because the legislation is quite old-fashioned and doesn’t perhaps reflect current marital and non-marital arrangements. Blended families aren’t very well catered for in that legislation.
A Will is a very good idea to ensure the estate goes to the people that you want to inherit.
You can also deal with some of the more practical things in that Will, such as choosing what’s going to happen with a pet, which is obviously very important if you are the last one. If you haven’t got a widow or a widower, guardianship of children is important and something that can go in a Will. It gives people a lot of reassurance that they’ve made those decisions so that people do know what they want to happen when they’ve passed away.
Donna Mahoney, Senior Manager, Tax team:
I think there are also a lot of things that perhaps you wouldn’t see in a Will that need to be communicated. You mentioned pets, children you know, just generally people’s wishes. Part of planning for later life or the end of life is communication with those people close to you as to what you wish to happen.
Also just general things such as letting people know that you have life policy. Another practical thing I would mention is noting down who your advisors are and who your loved ones should reach out to on the event of your death. Whether that’s your financial advisor who looks after your financial affairs, your investments, and maybe somebody different who supports your pension. The full list of things like that would help the surviving.
Lots of people have a Will and have put things in place, they have made decisions, and they’ve made wise investments, but if their loved ones who are left behind don’t know where all that documentation is, actually lots of things can be missed.
Dealing with the probate can be very complicated and there can be huge delays. So I do think communication is the key.
It’s a difficult conversation to have and nobody really wants to talk about it, but having those discussions, perhaps not at the end of life, but much earlier, for example, younger people doing this.
It’s a really good idea to share some of the wishes that you have. You might not want everyone to know what investments you’ve got, how much money you have, or how many assets you own, but at least if they know where to look or who to ask about these things when you’ve gone is a great help. For example, who is your financial advisor? Who is your accountant? Which solicitor do you use?
Donna Mahoney, Senior Manager, Tax team:
It’s not necessarily going into the details of the Inheritance Tax planning or the reasons behind the Will writing, it’s the practical steps that also matter.”
– Transcript ends –
We always recommend that you seek advice from a suitably qualified adviser before taking any action. The information in this article only serves as a guide and no responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of this material can be accepted by the authors or the firm.
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