You do not have to make a will but it is in your best interest to do so, and it is certainly in the best interest of your nearest and dearest who will have to deal with your affairs after your death. If you die without making a will, the law decides who inherits your estate – your property, your money and your possessions. This may mean that your spouse or civil partner may not automatically receive everything you leave. Relatives as distant as nephews and nieces could be entitled to a share of your estate and this may even mean that your widow, widower or surviving civil partner may have to sell the family home. Making a will gives peace of mind to your loved ones after your death.
If you are living with a partner, but unmarried, it is particularly important that you make a will; otherwise, your partner may receive nothing at all when you die. Even if you have no close relatives it is still important to make a will to benefit your friends or any charities you support, otherwise, your estate may pass to the government.
It is usually a good idea to review your will every few years. Life changes and your financial circumstances may alter; there may be births in the family; relatives or friends may sadly die. As you get older you may have to consider moving to a care or nursing home and this may adversely affect your financial position. Marriage, entering a civil partnership, separation, divorce and remarriage are all occasions when it will be necessary to change your will. You should seek legal advice to avoid future problems.
At Roberts and Smith we will be happy to discuss your requirements. Either call at our office in Nelson or give us a ring on the number at the top of this page to make your appointment. Home visits can be arranged for clients if required.