Having a valid, up-to-date will in place will ensure that your estate is distributed between your beneficiaries after you die.
It is important at any stage in your life, but especially if you have people who financially depend on you, such as a partner or children.
Writing a will is one of the first steps you should take towards developing your estate plan. Doing so will ensure that matters are handled in accordance with your wishes following your death, and in the most tax efficient way.
At Navigate Wealth, we put your needs at the centre of everything we do - meaning we will always do what is best for you.
If you want to speak to an expert about reviewing writing a will, or your existing will, contact the Navigate Wealth team on 0345 340 9690 or use our .
If you die without a will in place (known as ‘dying intestate’) then UK law determines who inherits your assets and your estate will be shared in accordance with intestacy rules, which may not align with your wishes.
Under the rules of intestacy, only married or civil partners and some other close relatives are able to inherit from your estate, dependent on the amount it is worth. It will also take much longer for beneficiaries to access their inheritance.
Within a will, you can detail exactly who gets what and when. You can leave assets or items to specific family members, friends and make contributions to charity. You can also specify who will care for any dependent children.
Why do I need a will?
Some of the most common drivers for writing a will are:
Children - if you have any minor children or stepchildren (under the age of 18) you can specify who will look after them after your death and allocate funds to support them.
Unmarried couples - the law doesn’t recognise these partnerships so they will not automatically receive any inheritance under intestacy rules if you do not have a will in place.
Divorce - this should be a trigger to update your will to ensure that your estate is distributed among your wider beneficiaries.
Property - joint tenant mortgages are automatically transferred to the other owner but if you have a tenant in common mortgage, it’s important to state in your will what will happen to your share in the property.
Business - if you are the sole director of a business, your employees may not be able to authorise payments after you die which could negatively impact business performance.
Funeral plans - some people prefer to plan their funeral so that their family is not burdened with making decisions while they are grieving.
Updating a will
Once you have a will in place, it is important that you continue to update it following any significant life events (such as a birth, death or marriage) to ensure that it remains valid.
Getting married invalidates any previous will you may have had in place, and therefore intestacy rules would apply if you died after marrying and before updating your will.
It is also advised to update your will after having a child, to ensure they are provided for and prevent any disputes following your death. Similarly, if you have any children from previous marriages or relationships, updating your will will minimise conflict between different families.
Writing or updating a will can be a complicated process, so it is advised that you seek the guidance of an independent financial adviser to ensure you plan to distribute your estate in the most tax-efficient way.
To find out more about will writing, or to arrange a free consultation, contact the Navigate Wealth team on 0345 340 9690 or use our .