What do Abraham Lincoln, Agatha Christie, Heath Ledger and Pablo Picasso have in common?

All of them died without making a will.

While it’s not an easy subject to think about, writing a will is one of the most important things you can in your life to make sure your wishes are carried out and your family are looked after.

Why do you need to make a Will?

  • If you die before your children reach the age of 18 years you can ensure they are suitably cared for by appointing a guardian in your will.

  • You can decide exactly how you want your estate to be distributed as it is not always the case that your spouse will receive the whole of your estate.

  • There is a common misconception that unmarried partners will automatically receive their partner’s estate on death, this is not true and the only way to ensure that an unmarried partner benefits from their partner’s estate is by making provision for them in a will.

  • You choose who you want to administer your estate and who should make decisions, whether that be family members, friends or professionals.

  • You may be on a second marriage/relationship and wish to balance the needs of your new partner against your children. This often includes giving a life interest (a right to live in your home) to your new partner.

  • Gifts can be left in your will as well as monetary legacies to individuals or charities;
  • Making a will can help to mitigate against future inheritance tax.

  • Property Trust Wills (for a couple), can help to protect part of your home against any future assessment for care fees.

  • You may wish to include a discretionary trust in your Will if, for example, you have a disabled child or a beneficiary who is in receipt of benefits (which need to be protected).

Sensible planning can minimise the liability of your estate to inheritance tax.

By creating a trust in your Will you can allow your partner to have the use of your house, or your share of it, for the rest of his or her life, while ensuring that it passes to your own children once your partner dies.  You can make provision for a disabled relative who may not be able to manage their own money by leaving a gift in trust.

A discretionary trust is a type of trust which allows your chosen trustees to decide which of the beneficiaries you have named should benefit, when and by how much.  You cannot choose when you die, but the trust allows your trustees to ensure that your family or friends benefit in a suitable way at a suitable time.  You can leave a letter explaining to your trustees how you want them to administer the trust – for instance, you may want them to make it their priority to help all your grandchildren through university before dividing whatever is left between your children.

Our specialist solicitors offer a friendly, efficient service. We can often offer same day appointments – please ask us.

Contact our Will Solicitors in Wakefield on 01924 332395.

Along with Wills, we provide a range of service in the field of Wills and Probate Law, including: