A Will may not seem like an essential document, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
You may see Wills as only being important if you have lots of money, or if you have large assets to leave such as properties. However, Wills have other functions that you may not be aware of, particularly impacting your children and other close family members.
If you have children who are minors- that is, under the age of 18- they require a responsible adult under the law to act as a guardian for them. This responsibility usually belongs to their parents; however, what if their parents were no longer around? Have you ever considered what would happen to your children if you were gone?
According to the Childhood Bereavement Network, 41,000 dependent children lost a parent in 2015 alone. This equates to 112 newly bereaved children every day.
Without appointing guardians in your Will, your children could be subjected to local authority care, which can be distressing for your children, especially when they’re grieving the loss of a parent.
Even if you’ve made arrangements privately with friends or other family members, the only way to truly ensure your children will be looked after by a person of your choice is to make a Will; the law cannot simply take somebody else’s word for it.
It is possible to make arrangements for your funeral within your Will, too. Some companies, including Accord Legal Services, also offer pre-paid funeral plans; this allows you to ensure that your funeral is arranged in advance, giving you one less thing to worry about.
According to the Express, the cost of funerals are rising at 10 times the rate of inflation, with the average funeral now costing £4,000. Paying for your funeral in advance not only ensures you are protected against rising costs, but also ensures your wishes are down on paper long before they’re needed. This could save a great deal of stress and hardship for your close family members when the time comes.
Without a Will, the law has no direct guidance as to how you’d like your estate to be distributed after you’re gone. This means that the laws of intestacy must be followed.
After you’re gone, your estate would pass directly to your spouse. This may be what you intended anyway, but it can have tax liabilities and, worse, can effect your children’s inheritance.
Imagine if one day, you were in an accident and sadly passed away. You haven’t made a Will, so everything you own goes to your spouse. Several years later, your spouse remarries.
If your spouse then passed away, their new partner would, under the laws of intestacy, receive their entire estate- including what was formerly yours. The law makes no provision for your children to receive a penny under these circumstances.
“What should I do?”
By making the Right Will, you can ensure your children are protected against losses to their inheritance, hardship and difficulties when dealing with your funeral arrangements, and the need to go into local authority care.
Accord can help you make arrangements for the uncertain future. Give us a call today, on 01744 807048, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.