Why Is Making a Will Important?

Wills and Trusts Services
Why do I need a Will
  • So that you can ensure that the right person(s) inherit your property
    or money
  • So that you can choose the most appropriate person(s) to deal with
    your affairs after you die (your executors)
  • You can appoint guardians to look after any children who are under 18
  • A carefully drafted Will can reduce or prevent an inheritance tax
    liability and protect your assets from a claim by others.
What if I don’t make a Will
  • Your estate will be dealt with under the law of intestacy, which means that your assets will be inherited by your closest living relatives.
  • If you are married or in a civil partnership and have children your husband/wife/civil partner will only be entitled to receive £250,000 and all personal possessions and currently a life interest (a right to the income only) in one half of the remainder of the estate. (This entitlement is due to change later in 2014 so that the spouse/civil partner will receive a half share absolutely.)The children will share the other half of the residue between them.Therefore if the deceased spouse/civil partner owns the property in his/her sole name, it is not necessarily the case that the surviving spouse will receive the whole property as part of their entitlement.
  • If you have no spouse or children – the government sets out in a strict order those relatives who will receive a share in your estate. It is entirely possible that your wealth may pass to relatives who are no longer in touch with you.
  • The law of intestacy does not permit any benefits to pass to friends or charities.
  • If no relatives can be found then your estate would pass to the Crown.
  • The law of intestacy does not enable you to have a say in who deals with your estate. Your estate would be dealt with by one or more of the relatives entitled to your estate.
  • If you die intestate you have no opportunity to take advantage of the tax saving opportunities which can benefit your estate if you make a Will.
  • If you have minor children there may be a dispute between relatives about who will care for them.

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    Meet the team

    Rebecca Stringfellow - Head of department

    Rebecca joined Dootsons in 2014 as a Solicitor in the Newton le Willows branch office. She is a graduate of Manchester Metropolitan University and subsequently completed the Legal Practice Course Programme at the Manchester Law School. She was admitted as a Solicitor in 2007. Rebecca is also a Full Member of STEP – the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, and a Student Member of Solicitors for the Elderly. Rebecca became a Partner in May 2019.