Every man and woman should have a Will. Why? Because a Will leaves directions as to what is to happen to your money and personal effects after your death. If you don’t leave directions, the law sets out what is to happen to your estate. It is treated as an “intestate” estate (i.e. one where there is no Will disposing of it) and the Intestacy Rules, which were originally written in 1925, will apply. You can imagine that if the Rules were made so long ago, they will not be at the cutting edge of today’s social scene.
A carefully drawn Will can save inheritance tax. At present, when a man dies the first £325,000 of his estate is free of Inheritance Tax; the remainder is subject to tax at 40%. There are a number of hints and wrinkles that can reduce the tax that would otherwise be paid.
If you have children, you may want to appoint guardians for them. The Will is the ideal place. It does not commit you to anything but can appoint a good friend or a relative to look after your children if, when you die, there would be no-one to look after them.
An experienced Will writer will advise you in ways that will prevent family disputes.