Most of us remember playing board games when we were little, especially at Christmas. No doubt Monopoly was one of the games that you played and I am sure you remember that aside from trying to purchase the blue properties in Mayfair and avoiding the Income Tax and Go to Jail squares – one of the squares on the board was Chance?
Whilst we might take a chance in a board game - it is only a game.
However, what shouldn’t be left to chance or the turn of a die is making a Will. Unfortunately, death happens and we shouldn’t leave looking after our loved ones to chance.
By making a Will, you are able to appoint people who can manage your affairs, pay your final bills and close your bank accounts, deal with your digital assets and sell your property.
If you have children under the age of 18 you can also appoint Guardians to look after those children.
You decide who inherits, this could be your family, other relatives, friends, and even charities.
You can leave money on trust for your children or other family members so that they have something when they reach a certain age if you think that 18 is too young.
In law, there is no such thing as “common law husband/wife” so even if you have lived together for 20 years, there is no automatic right to your partner receiving a penny.
If you are not married, but live together, the survivor of you will have to look to making a claim on your loved one’s estate for provision, which may mean claiming against any children you have had together, or the deceased’s family.
Whilst anything held jointly will pass to the surviving joint holder – there may be others who will have a claim to solely held assets.
Without a Will, the law decides who benefits from your estate and don’t forget this could be your fourth cousin twice removed who you’ve never met!
You should consider making a Will if you have a change in personal or financial circumstances, such as receiving an inheritance, getting married (for the first or fourth time) or divorced, having children, or if you have business assets.
A Will can look to protecting your property from claims from future spouses or third parties.
Making a Will is a straightforward process, you should seek professional advice so that you can decide who inherits.
We all make New Year resolutions – few are kept beyond a few weeks but make a resolution to come in and see us to make your Will, or to review how appropriate it is for your circumstances now.
Don’t leave your estates to chance, your estates and family are not a game of chance, make a Will and ensure that they are looked after.