Will Writers Yorkshire

Will Writing Services

Making a Will is something that we all put off doing. However, a Will is one of the most important documents you will ever complete. If you die without making a Will, the law may dictate how your assets are to be distributed and this may not be in accordance with your wishes. This could mean that your partner receives less than you would like, or that your assets pass to family members who may not need them. Having a Will also relieves some of the stress felt by bereaved family members at a very emotional time and sets out to them what your wishes are.

Why is it important to make a Will?

  • If you make a Will, you can decide how your assets are distributed upon your death. If you donít, the law will dictate who gets your assets.
  • You can also stipulate any personal gifts of property or money that you may wish to leave to family members, friends or charities.
  • If you are not married or in a civil partnership, your partner will not automatically inherit your estate. By making a Will you can ensure that your partner is provided for.
  • If you have children, you can state whom you would like to appoint as their legal guardian in the event they are under the age of 18. In addition you can ensure that you decide who looks after any money you wish to leave for them and at what age your children inherit such money.

Who inherits if you do not make a Will?

If you die without making a Will (intestate) the law will decide who inherits your assets. In England & Wales if you die without a Will your assets will be distributed as follows:-

If you are married or in a civil partnership and you have no children:-

  • Your husband, wife or civil partner will receive your personal items (except assets used for business purposes), £450,000 free of tax (or the whole of the estate if it is less than £450,000) and half of the rest of your estate. They do not automatically receive everything you own.
  • The remaining half of your estate will be shared by your parents if they are alive. If you have no surviving parents, your brothers and sisters will share the remainder (or their children will take their share if any of your brothers or sisters died during your lifetime). If there are no such relatives then the surviving husband, wife or civil partner will receive the remainder of your estate.

If you are married or in a civil partnership and you have children:-

  • Your husband, wife or civil partner will receive your personal items (except assets used for business purposes), £250,000 free of tax (or the whole of the estate if it is less than £250,000) and a life interest in half of the remainder of your estate. This means that your surviving husband, wife or civil partner will receive the income from this half of your estate and the capital sum will be divided equally between your children upon the death of your husband, wife or civil partner. The remaining half of your estate will be divided equally between your children.

If you are partners but are not married or in a civil partnership:-

If you are not married or in a registered civil partnership, you will not automatically get a share in your partnerís estate if they die without making a Will.

If you do not provide for your partner within your Will (or do not make a Will), your partnerís only option would be to make a claim against your estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

If there is no surviving husband, wife or civil partner:-

Your estate will be distributed as follows:-

  • To your surviving children in equal shares (or to their children if your children died during your lifetime).
  • If you have no children, to your parents (equally if they are both alive or wholly to the survivor).
  • If you have no surviving parents, to your brothers and sisters equally (who shared the same two parents as you) or to their children if any of them have died during your lifetime.
  • If you have no brothers and sisters, to your half brothers and sisters, or to their children if any of them have died during your lifetime.
  • If you have none of the above, then to your grandparents (equally if more than one).
  • If you have no grandparents, then to aunts and uncles, or to their children if any of them have died during your lifetime.
  • If you have none of the above, then to half aunts and uncles, or to their children if any of them have died during your lifetime.
  • If there are none of the above relatives living at the date of your death then your estate will pass to the Crown.

Making a Will also makes the administration of your estate much simpler and it takes less time to sort out an estate where a Will was made.

Wills and Trusts

Within your Will you can use trusts to pass your assets in the way you want to. This may be used to pass assets to children when they are older or to retain assets in trust in order to prevent any remarriage of your surviving spouse or civil partner from taking assets away from your children. It is also a useful way of managing assets for the benefit of persons who are unable to manage their own affairs, for example a child with a disability.

There are different types of trust which can be used to suit your circumstances and pass your assets in the way you wish. It is important to take specialist advice regarding using trusts within your Will to ensure that you are fully advised of all the consequences of using a trust.

If you are thinking of making a Will and would like further information please contact us, we provide will writing services from our offices around the UK, in the North East, Yorkshire and Norfolk.