There are many reasons why you should make a will... Here are our top five
Under the law, if both parents of children under the age of 18 die it is the courts alone who will ultimately determine who looks after those children and brings them up. We always hope that the courts will make the correct choice, but the only way for the parents themselves to be absolutely sure who they are is for them them to appoint legal guardians in a Will.
Unmarried Couples (Or Non Civil Partners)
The concept of "common law" spouses is a big myth and hasn't actually existed in law for 2 centuries. Consequently, where two people live together - irregardless of the length of time they have done so - if one of them dies the survivor may be entitled to nothing, or very little, from the estate. Moreover, all the benefits of inheritance tax (IHT) allowances only apply to married couples or civil partners. So not only do unmarried couples have no automatic rights in law but they could also be heavily penalised as far as IHT is concerned and could end up paying considerably more than a married couple. The right kind of Will can put them on a par with their married counterparts.
This is a very common issue not only for many of my clients but also in society as a whole. The problem is if A and B get remarried to each other and they both have children from previous relationships how can the first of those to die be sure that their assets goes to THEIR children and doesn't all end up going, often by default, to the children of the second to die, or even to a new spouse again? But, as before, the right type of Will can deal with this scenario easily.
Unreliable / Vulnerable Children
If clients have unreliable or vulnerable children they often feel very uncomfortable leaving them a large (or even any) legacy. But by the same token there are laws often preventing clients from omitting these children from their Wills altogether. So clients feel caught between a rock and a hard place. The right kind of Will can overcome this problem altogether meaning all sides are satisfied and the intention of the clients are fully met.
Long Term Care Costs
By far and away this is the single biggest worry or challenge that clients have. The cost of long term care and the all-too-common need to have to sell the family home to pay for it is THE big story of the moment. There is much that can be done that is unlawful or even illegal. But likewise with early enough and careful enough planning and the correct Will, clients can go a very long way to securing that family home for the children and/or grandchildren, rather than having to give it up to pay for long term care costs. We at Prior Knowledge are happy to advise and assist with this.