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Why make a Will?
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Making a will is something that many people put off doing. However, it is important to make a will for a number of reasons. If you make a will you will have the opportunity to ensure that your wishes are carried out in the event of your death and that your loved ones are looked after.

The main reasons for making a will are as follows:

To control how your estate is distributed upon your death

Where a person dies without making a will they are said to have died “intestate”. The property and assets of a person who dies intestate are distributed to certain of their surviving relatives in accordance with the rules of intestacy.

The rules of intestacy may mean that your estate is distributed other than in accordance with your wishes. For example, the rules of intestacy make no provision for cohabitees or step children.

Even if you are married or in a civil partnership under the rules of intestacy your spouse or civil partner may not necessarily inherit the whole of your estate.

If you are married or are in a civil partnership your spouse or civil partner will inherit your personal possessions plus the first £450,000 of your estate. If your estate is worth more than £450,000, your parents, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews may end up inheriting half of the balance of your estate under the rules of intestacy. The other half will pass to your spouse or civil partner.

If you are married or are in a civil partnership and have children your spouse or civil partner will only inherit your personal possessions plus the first £250,000 of your estate. If your estate is worth more than £250,000, then half of the balance of your estate will pass to your children or grandchildren and the other half will pass to your spouse or civil partner. Your spouse or civil partner will, however, have a right to receive an income from half of the balance of your estate if it is worth over £250,000.

If you die without making a will and have no surviving close relatives then your entire estate could pass to the Crown or the Duchy of Lancaster or the Duke of Cornwall.

By making a will you also have the opportunity to provide for friends and charities.

To minimise your estate’s tax liability

In making a will you will have the opportunity to ensure that your estate is left in a tax efficient way. If you don’t make a will your loved ones may end up having to pay more tax than is necessary.

To appoint guardians to look after your children

If you have children, by making a will you will have the opportunity to decide on a guardian to look after them in the event of your death.

To ensure that your executors or personal representatives are aware of your wishes for the disposal of your body

By making a will you also have the opportunity to state how you would like your body to be disposed of after your death. Ultimately it is for your executors or personal representatives to decide upon how your body is disposed of. However, where a person’s wishes have been made clear they will normally be adhered to.

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Single Will or Mirror Wills?

If you are a couple and wish to leave all your assets to each other then you could save money by making  Mirror Wills. You can also use Mirror Wills if you whish to leave your estate to the same beneficiaries. 
 
If you wish to leave different legacies, appoint different executors or you would like to specify individual funeral wishes then you will need to make two Single Wills.
single will mirror will