Writing a Will: Considerations in Times of Crisis

As the world comes to terms with the potential implications of Covid-19, many are finding themselves forced to ask a number of difficult questions. It can seem as if there is never a ‘good’ time to think about preparing a final will and testament, though preparing for all possible eventualities is important.

Ensuring you prepare a clear, complete and valid will isn’t simply about getting your affairs in order. It’s also about looking after the interests of your loved ones, in the event that the worst should happen.

The complexities and quarrels that can occur in the event of a deceased individual failing to appropriately allocate their assets can be immense. Even if it does not seem like an urgent priority right now, there’s no time like the present to consider the benefits of preparing a final will and testament.

Examples of which include the following:

1. Ensuring your intentions are understood

Without a will, it can be difficult or even impossible for your intentions to be accurately interpreted by your loved ones and those charged with distributing your assets. If you prepare a valid will in advance, you can rest assured that your intentions will be both understood and followed in the event of your death.

2.  Protect your loved ones

Allocating assets is all about ensuring those you leave behind are sufficiently cared for in your absence. There are no assurances that this will be the case where a will hasn’t been prepared, as the decision as to how your assets are allocated is taken out of your hands. Hence, preparing a will is more about looking out for the best interests of your loved ones than for you personally.

3. Avoid subsequent disputes

Contrary to popular belief, it is not uncommon for the allocation of assets in the wake of a person’s death to be contested by one or more individuals. Under the terms of the 1965 Succession Act, every UK citizen has the right to file such a dispute, if they feel they have the right to do so. However, it becomes exponentially more difficult to successfully contest a will if it has been appropriately prepared and its viability assessed by an experienced legal representative.

4. Reduce inheritance tax

It isn’t always possible to avoid inheritance tax, though the financial pressure on your estate could be reduced significantly with strategic will preparation. The way you allocate and distribute your assets (both before and after your death) will impact the tax obligations of your beneficiaries. As this is a complex issue to address, it is best undertaken with the supervision and support of a trained solicitor.

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5. Peace of mind

Above all else, the preparation of a final will and testament is all about peace of mind – both for yourself and for your loved ones. Rather than putting things off until the last possible moment, it simply makes sense to ensure your intentions are formalised and your tax liabilities are understood at an earlier juncture. In doing so, you reduce the risk of complications and disputes at a later stage, which could make an already challenging time in life even more difficult to deal with.

For more information or to discuss the importance of will preparation in more detail, book your obligation-free consultation with a member of the team at Aristone Solicitors today.

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