The Importance of Making a Will
A valid will is one of most important documents you could ever put your signature to, as consequences of failing to make a will before you die can have far-reaching effects on people you care about most.
Despite importance of this legal document, it is still case that only 3 out of every 10 people make a will mainly due to lack of awareness as to why a Will is needed.
The 3 most important reasons why a Will should be made are;
1.Simplifying Administration Process 2.Intestacy & Distribution of Assets 3.Inheritance Tax
1. Simplifying Administration Process
Before a deceased person’s estate can be distributed to various individuals a grant of representation needs to be obtained from Probate office. All assets which comprise estate –including money in bank accounts - are frozen until this grant is confirmed. Where no will has been made process of applying for grant is drawn out, causing aggravated upset and anxiety for relatives and possibly acrimonious disputes and legal costs over who should deal with estate.
A valid Will resolves these problems as persons will already have been appointed by Will – executors – to deal with estate and can obtain grant and begin distribution of assets in a minimal period of time thus saving costs, time and unnecessary distress.
2. Intestacy & Distribution of Assets
Making a Will is only way to ensure that people you wish to inherit from your estate actually do so. Failing to make a Will will result in law of Intestacy being applied, and intestacy rules will dictate who will receive what, and often this will not accord with what you would have wanted. For example;
a) If you are single you may want to distribute your assets amongst selected friends and family. The rules of intestacy will not take into account any relationships based on friendship, and will distribute amongst relatives only, everything passing to State if no relatives can be found.
b) If you are living as cohabitees (unmarried couple) you may want your partner to derive some benefit from your estate, perhaps to remain in family home for example. The rules of intestacy would not take your partner into account; as far as law is concerned, you would be treated as a single person and your partner would receive nothing.