Wills and Estate Planning

Why Make a Will?

Making a Will to your loved ones, and your deeds and words in the Will can comfort them in their time of need. A Will spares them the pain of uncertainty at such a difficult time. Many people think that their house, savings and belongings will pass automatically to their nearest and dearest but this is not always true. The Government has specific guidelines for the disposal of assets when someone dies without making a Will. A Will is a very useful tool in mitigating inheritance tax, leaving more of your hard earned money to your loved ones. Making a Will is the only legal way you can appoint guardians for your children. If you don’t have a Will then the courts will decide who looks after them until they are 18 years old. If you have children from previous relationships, are a single parent or an unmarried couple living together then we can provide you with the appropriate advice and guidance for your personal circumstances. Making a Will is the ONLY way you can ensure your wishes are carried out. What Will happen if you don’t make a Will? Many people think that their house, savings and belongings will pass automatically to their nearest and dearest but this is not always true. The Government has specific guidelines for the disposal of assets when someone dies without making a Will. Food for thought!

IF YOU ARE SINGLE
You will want your estate divided amongst friends, relatives and charities of your choosing and in the proportions you want.

IF YOU ARE MARRIED
Don’t assume “my other half will get everything”. Brothers and sisters or parents may have a claim. Often your children have a right to part of your estate. If you are living as a couple but not officially married, you may be treated as a single person and a surviving partner may get nothing at all. One thing you can be certain of – there will be an argument and dispute when the family should be coping with the loss of a loved one.

IF YOU ARE A PARENT
You should consider who would look after your children in the event of your death. This is particularly important in the case of one parent families or unmarried parents living together. A valid Will nominating guardians is invaluable in such cases. If no one knows what you would have wanted, the Court will decide on the future of your children, and it may not be what you or your children would have wished.

IF YOU ARE RETIRED
Maybe you made a Will a long time ago. It probably needs updating to include additional grandchildren or deletion of persons you no longer feel you wish to leave anything to

LONG TERM CARE
Many people are concerned about the effects of their estate should they need to go into a Care Home. If the spouse is still living in the family home then in many cases the Local Authority will not count it at all. However, you need to plan ahead and by severing the joint tenancy and holding the family home as tenants in common you can save at least half the house. The Local Authority can only assess the assets of a person in their care so the half held in trust to another (maybe the children) is protected.

UNMARRIED COUPLES

If you are not married then apart from the possibility of your partner getting nothing on your death even if you live together, a Court will appoint guardians for any children under the age of 18. Under the Children’s Act 1989 where the child’s parents were not married to each other at the time of the child’s birth only the mother has parental responsibility. Prior to December 2003 even if the father is named on the birth certificate it does NOT give him parental responsibility. Making a Will is the only way you can appoint a guardian and decide who brings up your child in the event of your death.

SEPARATED COUPLES
Without a Will, your separated spouse will part of your property whether you want this to happen or not.

SECOND FAMILIES
Your family home is often your most important asset and it is natural to want your wife or husband to have the security of living there after your death. But what if they re-marry? Can you be sure your children will actually inherit their share?

FRIENDS AND CHARITIES
Writing a Will is the only way you can ensure that any special friends or charities that are dear to you, will benefit or receive gifts from you on the event of your death.

Please phone either John or Monica on 01983 616 156 or email your enquiry via the contact form below.

We are sometimes away from the office visiting clients so should we not answer, do please leave a message and we will get back to you.

Contact Spire Wills

"*" indicates required fields

Name:*
Email:*
Address:*
Consent*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.