A will is a legal document you create that sets out instructions for who will inherit your estate and what should happen after you die.
As many as 60% of people don't have wills, by some estimates. If you die without one, your estate will be distributed according to strict rules, meaning the people you care about may lose out.
Top reasons for needing a will.
Ensure your family is provided for financially
As well as saying who will raise your children, you can make plans to provide for their future financially. This might include putting aside money for their education, making sure they receive a set amount each year for clothing or hobbies, or establishing a nest egg to buy a home.
Protect your partner if you're unmarried
Unmarried partners aren't entitled to anything from your estate unless specifically stated in your will - no matter how long you've been together.
Safeguard your family home
If the family home is in your name, your unmarried partner and step-children aren't automatically in line to inherit it if you die without a will - meaning they may lose their home.
Head off family disputes
Dividing up an estate can sadly sometimes lead to squabbles and arguments among your survivors if there is no will or your wishes aren't made clear.
Contested wills can be damaging to relationships among your family, and can also be expensive if decisions about your estate are legally contested.
A well-prepared will can help avoid these arguments, and avoid making your passing even more stressful for your survivors.
Say who you want to look after your pets
If you have dogs, cats, or any other pets, they may also need to be looked after if you pass away.
Pay less inheritance tax than you might have to
The amount of inheritance tax that will be charged from your estate depends on how much you have, and also who you leave it to.
Anything left to your spouse or civil partner should be automatically exempt from inheritance tax.
Find out more: Inheritance tax: thresholds, rates and who pays
Writing a will does not need to be a stressful or expensive process.
Which?, the UK consumer champion, are the Online Will Writer of The Year and provides an easy and affordable way to write your will and ensure the people you care about are looked after when you are gone. Their services include specialist reviews, printing and delivery to your door.
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