Over half of the United Kingdom’s adult population do not have a legal Will. Although it is not pleasant to think about passing away and leaving your loved ones, it is important that you have your affairs in order for what is unfortunately, for all of us, an inevitable event.
Having a Will also gives you peace of mind that you have taken care of certain details and your family will not be under any additional stress during an already highly emotional time.
The Contents of a Will
Your Will contains your wishes for how you desire your property to be distributed after you die. It can also provide details and requests to help your loved ones decide:
- Whether you wish to be buried, cremated or to donate your body for research.
- Any cultural or religious practices you wish to have observed at your funeral.
- Whether you want to have any of your organs donated.
- Any other wishes you may have for your funeral.
The Guardianship of Your Children
One of the most important elements of your Will if you have children under the age of 18 years is the appointment of legal guardians. A legal guardian is someone who will take responsibility for your child/children if they are orphaned. By naming guardian/s in your Will you can ensure that your precious child/children are placed into the care of the people chosen by you and not by the court.
House prices have increased dramatically over the last twenty years or so, meaning inheritance tax is no longer an issue for aristocrats with a large country house and a flat in Chelsea to pass down. The threshold for inheritance tax for the 2014/15 tax year is £325,000. If you leave an estate worth more than that amount the beneficiaries may be liable for death duties calculated at 40% to be paid on any property over and above the threshold.
As an example, if you die and leave an estate worth £425,000, the first £325,000 is tax free. Then you pay 40% on the remaining £100,000 which amounts to £40,000.
At Bennett Oakley our experienced lawyers can advise you on how to arrange your affairs to lessen the impact of death duties by effective tax planning.
How we can help.
Don’t keep putting it off, get your Will organised today. We offer a fixed fee service to draft a Will and we provide storage in our strongroom and a copy for you to have at home free of charge. We make sorting out your Will quick, easy and cost-effective.