When should I make a Will?

My colleague Michelle Ranasinghe-Carter recently shared with us Five reasons to make a Will in your 20s. As the title suggests, as an adult, you are never too young to make a Will. No one likes to think about the future in this way, but unfortunately age is not a barrier for sad events such as sudden illness or accidents. News of such tragic events plague the media – as we have recently heard in the press regarding the high profile death of Sarah Harding, who died at the age of 39.

Instead of delaying the preparation of your Will and pushing it down your to-do list, give yourself peace of mind and have your Will prepared sooner rather than later. However, there are some key life events (not limited to our 20s) which makes drawing up a Will or reviewing an existing Will more important.

Getting married

Did you know, a Will is revoked by marriage? as discussed by my colleague Alison Lloyd. Make sure you are not left with an invalid Will unintentionally.

Marriage is also a good time to reflect on what you would like to happen to your estate.

Protecting an unmarried partner

If marriage isn’t in your plans, but you would like your partner to benefit should you pass away, leaving a Will is vital given that the intestacy rules do not provide for unmarried partners.

Having children

As well as making sure that your children will benefit as you would like them to, guardianship is also a key element of a Will that you might want to make use of. A Will can appoint guardians for children under the age of 18, ensuring peace of mind for your children’s future and reducing confusion and anxiety for your children and family should the worst happen.

Should you wish for any step-children to benefit from your estate, a Will providing for this is also imperative, as step-children (unless adopted by you) do not benefit under the intestacy rules.

Buying a property with a partner

Depending on how your property is owned, your partner and co-owner may not automatically receive your share of the property on your death, leaving some uncertainty as to whether they can continue to live there.

Your Will could provide for other family members to benefit from your property with or without the ability for your partner to occupy the property for a certain period. Alternatively, the Will could simply provide for your partner to receive your share of the property.

Coming into wealth

Whether you are cashing in on a valuable investment or receiving inheritance yourself, coming into wealth should encourage you to put in place a Will. Do not leave it too late in life to make effective use of lifetime and estate inheritance tax allowances, which give you the opportunity to mitigate inheritance tax and protect your wealth for future generations.

Carefully-drafted Wills can have a significant impact on the ability of your estate to maximise Inheritance Tax allowances and protect assets from being ‘hostage to fortune’.

How Moore Barlow can help you

Contact Moore Barlow to get practical and effective advice on Inheritance Tax, lifetime planning and drawing up a Will, and take the stress away from ticking this off your to-do list.