The Basics to help you understand the benefits of a professionally written Will.

No matter how young or old you are, every adult should have a Will. Even when you have a Will in place, it is important to review its contents every two to three years.

You should also review your Will when a major event happens in your life, such as times like these:

  • Marriage for the first time and remarriage
  • Re-marriage or cohabitation where you have children from previous relationships to provide for
  • You or your children get divorced or separated
  • You inherit some money
  • The birth of a child within your family
  • One of your named beneficiaries, executors or guardians dies or becomes incapacitated
  • You move house
  • You buy or sell a business
  • You have to provide care for a family member
  • You suffer illness or injury

It is especially important to make a Will if you are unmarried or you have not registered your civil partnership, as partners simply living together get nothing if not specifically provided for in a Will.

Not leaving a Will could leave your partner in financial difficulties or even homeless.

Wills can be an important tool to use to help you save inheritance tax.

Nowadays, all married couples and registered civil partners can have use of a transferable nil rate band, which gives a surviving spouse or civil partner a total of £650,000.00 (and potentially up to £1 million) in their estate, which is exempt from inheritance tax.

However, there are many other ways in which inheritance tax can become payable and many ways in which making a Will can help you avoid this and plan for other future eventualities.

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This information refers to the law of England & Wales only, which from time to time changes. In particular, tax information changes annually. It is not a substitute for professional advice, which is up to date and specific to your needs. This information is a summary of the provisions relating to wills and cannot cover every aspect of their operation. It represents our understanding of current legislation in England and Wales but should not be relied upon as an authoritative statement of law nor as constituting advice. We would advise that legal advice be sought in every circumstance.