Well, the Lawyers will always say that it is important to make a will because without one:
- your property, possessions, money may pass [under the Rules on Intestacy] to family members you may distinctly dislike
- if you have children, it would not be clear as to who should be looking after them and a Court might have to decide that issue
- if you are not married to your partner he or she will not automatically be entitled to occupation of your home, possessions or assets [eg death in service benefits, refund of pension contributions]
- if you are married, separated but not divorced, then your assets will pass to your ex-spouse without a will to the contrary.
So when is the right time to make a will?
Certainly if you have assets of more than £5,000 or own a property or if you have a child as you should be thinking about who will be his / her guardian if you pass away whilst he / she is under 18. Someone with the same life values as you, whether a family member or good friend, would be the right choice so that assets could be invested and the income arising on those monies used for the child’s maintenance education and benefit.
You also need to decide at what age those children can actually by given the capital – if you say nothing, it will be 18 years and you probably remember what you were like at that age! So choosing who would administer your Estate [your Executors] is also an important decision.
… and when you have completed the will, look at it every 3 to 5 years to see if it suits your needs and expectations – it could be amended by a short document called a ‘codicil’ or you could do another will and tear up the old one.
Remember, for a modest investment of say approximately £160 you could be saving your Estate thousands of pounds of legal fees if disputes arise.