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Dying Matters Week: Thursday – Make a Will

Making a will is one of the most important things that you can do to ensure you pass on any assets you may have to your family and loved ones. It gives you the peace of mind that you have provided support to your family and causes you care about.

 

Despite the importance of having one, recent research showed that almost two thirds of adults do not have a will in place in the UK. Let’s quickly look at why you should have one (and then we’ll let you know how you can get yours written free of charge).

Why you should have a will

The biggest and best reason is that you get to decide what happens to your estate. If you want a specific sum to go to a specific person, you get to decide that. Do you want to donate money, land or goods to charity? You get to action that. Is there a specific person you don’t want to receive anything? You can ensure that happens. It also helps make a difficult time for any family a little easier to cope with, lessening the difficult conversations and arrangements they have to make.

However, if you die without a will..

  • … and don’t have any traceable blood relatives, ownerless goods (Bona Vacantia) will transfer to the Crown, administered by the QLTR (Office of Queen’s and Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer).
  • … and have a partner but are not married or in a civil partnership, your partner is not automatically entitled to any of your estate. They can apply to the court, but there is no guarantee for success and it can be an emotionally challenging time.
  • … and are married or in a civil partnership, they will be entitled to Prior Rights. They will inherit your interest in the house, but only if they are ordinarily resident there, up to a value of £473,000; furniture up to a value of £29,000 and an entitlement to £50,000 cash (if you have children) or £89,000 if you die leaving no children. If there is any estate left after Prior Rights, your spouse/civil partner and children, if any, are entitled to Legal Rights.

*Information compiled from moneyadviceservice.org.uk & harpermacleod.co.uk – visit these websites to learn more about wills and inheritance. Remember, Scots Law differs from many laws in England & Wales.*

Let’s use this fact from moneyadviceservice.org.uk as an eye opening example of why you should have a will:  “When one of two brothers died suddenly, his whole estate automatically went to their father, who had left them 40 years earlier and hadn’t been in contact since. His brother, who he was close to, got nothing.

But now the good news! You can have your will written (or have an existing one amended) free of charge all year round thanks to our friends in Cook, Stevenson & Co, Kingsley Wood & Co, McClure Solicitors, and Neill Clerk & Murray: All they ask is that a donation to Ardgowan Hospice is made*

If you want to:

  1. Decide how your estate is distributed
  2. Appoint guardians for young children
  3. Manage your affairs to be tax efficient
  4. Support your favourite charities
  5. Reduce stress for loved ones after your death

Get in touch with the below to discuss how they can help.

  • Fiona Cook | Cook, Stevenson & Co | 01475 722100 | mail@stevenson.co.uk
  • Dionne Hunter | Kingsley Wood & Co | 01505 874114 | dhunter@kingsleywood.co.uk
  • Hayley Bayfield | McClure Solicitors | 0800 852 1999 | contactus@mcclure-solicitors.co.uk
  • Charlene Duncan | Neill Clerk & Murray | 01475 724522 | charlene@neillclerkmurray.co.uk

*suggested donation of £95 for a single will and £150 for a couple – ordinarily a will for a couple could cost around £300

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