Advantages of making a will
There are many advantages of making a will. By making a will you can choose who you wish to inherit your assets, rather than this decision being made by the laws of intestacy. You can give opportunities to others by passing on your possessions.
You can choose to pass certain belongings to certain individuals, for example, your car, a painting, a family heirloom. This can ensure that items of sentimental value are retained in the family. For example, war medals, family photographs, jewellery, these items can often have strong family ties and a will can enable you to pass these mementoes to those who will appreciate them.
If you are an unmarried couple you can ensure that your partner is provided for. The laws of intestacy do not automatically take account of a cohabitant and this can lead to financial difficulties for them. In order to make a claim in an intestate estate a cohabitant has to raise a court action which can be lengthy and expensive.
Similarly, if you are separated but not yet divorced your spouse or civil partner may still be able to make a claim on your estate until the divorce is finalised.
You can make sure you don't pay more inheritance tax than is necessary. Wills can be utilised to make savings on inheritance tax.
You will have peace of mind that your estate will be divided as you wish and you can ensure that the people you choose will administer your estate. The preparation of a will allows you to choose your executor who will deal with the winding up of your estate in the way you have requested. If there is no will a family member or other party with an interest may have to petition the Court to become your executor.
It will also make it easier for your loved ones to deal with your affairs when you are gone. Dying without a will adds all sorts of complications to the administration of an estate and can increase the cost and work involved for the executors. For example, when there is no will the executors are usually required by the Court to obtain a Bond of Caution which is a form of insurance policy before any funds can be ingathered.
Dying without a will can bring numerous problems and your wishes may not be carried out.