Making your Will
The wills and estate planning lawyers at H & S Solicitors in High Street Kensington have expertise in all aspects of making a Will, from drafting a Will to advising you on whatever provisions you wish to make in the management of your estate, finance and assets.
There is a commonly held misconception that if you are married or in a civil partnership you do not need to make a Will, as everything you own passes to your spouse or partner when you die. This is not necessarily true.
Benefits of a will
If you die without a valid Will, the distribution of your assets is governed by a set of legal rules called intestacy. These rules may not reflect the way that you would have wished your assets to be distributed.
A properly drafted Will can achieve a number of potential benefits, including:
- Make your wishes known: Without a valid Will, distribution of assets will be according to the rules of intestacy — not according to your wishes.
- Provide for those you choose: If you are in a relationship and are not married or do not have a registered civil partnership, you cannot inherit your spouse's or partner's estate unless he or she had a valid Will in place. If one person in such a relationship dies without a Will, this can create serious financial problems for the surviving partner.
- Protect your children: If you have a child or children, a valid Will is necessary to make arrangements for the children should the parents die. It is extremely important to have a Will in place if the children are under 18 and would need somebody to look after their inheritance or to have a guardian appointed for them.
- Reduce inheritance tax: You may also be available to reduce the amount of inheritance tax (IHT) your estate will pay following your death if you take advice and make a Will.
- Protect your estate from being contested: There has been a significant rise in claims being made against the estates of people who have died. The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 allows certain individuals to make a claim for provision from a person's estate, even if that person never intended to leave that individual any money or assets. By seeking legal advice and making a Will you could significantly reduce the likelihood of a successful claim being made.
Wills can also provide for charities, avoid family disputes and document funeral arrangements. Making a Will need not be time consuming or costly, and we make the process of drafting your Will very simple and easy.