A recent survey has found that fewer than two thirds of people in our region have written a Will.
In many ways, it’s not a surprise. Making a Will is something we’d rather not think about. It’s one of those jobs to add to a to do list in the future and even if we don’t get round to it, our nearest and dearest will inherit anyway – or so the logic goes.
But for many people, wishes or personal circumstances aren’t clear cut. This means that planning to ensure those wishes are honoured is important, and that’s not just a thing to think about well in to retirement. What’s important to us – and so worth protecting – changes at different stages of our lives and should be addressed. Planning to ensure that, should the worst happen, what matters most is protected is important for more than just one third of us.
1. For parents with young children it’s important to consider appointing guardians who would have parental responsibility for children if nobody else already has that status.
2. For divorcing or separating couples it’s worth remembering that, while clauses benefiting a spouse will largely become void after a formal split, should the worst happen before then a pre-existing Will would stand.
3. For individuals who have re-married a Will can provide for their new spouse whilst also protecting any assets for children or dependants from a previous relationship.
4. For those with vulnerable beneficiaries, such as disabled children, a Will could safeguard their dependent’s financial future with a Trust which is managed on their behalf by trustees and provides them with money.
5. For people with inheritance tax concerns, a Will can ensure that any assets benefitting from favourable tax treatment, such as business owners or farmers, are captured.
Making these types of decisions can be difficult, but they are important. Time spent now can both offer peace of mind and make life easier for those who will have to deal with matters in the future.
Gareth Marland is a Solicitor and Associate Director within Berwins’ industry ranked Life team.