Blog Will and testament

Five reasons to make a Will

Jasmine Cotton
Jasmine Cotton

Why should I make a Will?

You may have been told before about the importance of making sure you have written a Will, but have you thought about what would happen to your loved ones and belongings without one?

If you die without a Will, you will die ‘Intestate’, which means the law will decide who your money, home, and belongings will be passed down to. Here are our top five reasons to this the year to make your Will.

Our Make a Will Fortnight is this March, giving you an opportunity to have your Will written or amended this March while helping to support St Wilfrid’s Hospice in providing expert end-of-life care in our community.

1. To protect your partner

One of the most important reasons to make a Will is to protect your partner. If you are unmarried, dying without a Will can have serious consequences for your partner. For example, if your house is not jointly owned, then your partner could find themselves without a home.

A Will is a clear and binding contract that provides financial security to your loved ones.

2. To make sure your children are cared for

If you have dependent children or step-children, you will want to make sure that someone is there to care for them when you die. You can name ‘guardians’ in your Will, and these will be the people who you have asked to look after your children when you die.

If you don’t have a Will, this could result in your children being cared for by someone you didn’t want or unnecessary custody battles and arguments.

3. To give to causes and people you care about the most

In your Will, you can state particular people and charities who you would like to leave gifts to. This could be a cash sum (pecuniary gift), a share of your estate (residuary gift) or an item of value, such as art or jewellery (specific gift).

Gifts in your Will to charity are Inheritance Tax exempt, and in some circumstances, the remainder of your estate could benefit from a reduced Inheritance Tax rate, if you leave enough of your estate to charity.

4. To make sure someone looks after your pets

Have you ever thought about what will happen to your pets when you die? Similarly to dependent children, you can name a guardian in your Will who will take in and care for your pets when you die.

5. You have already written a Will, but it needs updating

It is recommended that you update your Will every five years or so, or when a major life event happens such as a marriage, buying a house, having a child or getting divorced. You will also need to update your Will if one of your stated guardians or your executor (the person who will carry out your Will) dies.

The only way you can change your Will is by making an official alteration called a codicil. You need to sign a codicil and get it witnessed in the same way as witnessing a Will.

Our Make a Will fortnight is coming up, giving you an opportunity to have your Will written or amended this March while helping to support St Wilfrid’s Hospice in providing expert end-of-life care in our community.

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