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A family of five gathered in front of their new terrace house.

Is your will in order?

Your will is important if you want to ensure your assets go to the right beneficiaries when you are gone, if you do not have a will in place then your entire estate is subject to the 'rules of intestacy'.

Intestacy means that your assets are divided up in a very strict way, which can in certain circumstances mean that the people you wanted to benefit from your will, may not receive the assets, a will ensures that your wishes are always met.

Even if you are married with children but don't have a will in place then your spouse is only entitled to the first £125.000. Personal chattels such as cars, furniture, pictures and other similar items are included as well as 'lifetime interest' (income only) in one half of the residue.

You can see where the problems arise when you consider that the average house price in the UK is £238.000. Owning a property around this value would instantly put you into a rule of intestacy if you do not have a will in place.

If you don't have a spouse, children, parents or other relatives at the time of your passing then your whole estate goes to the royal treasury. You can still write a will that ensures your assets go to your chosen charities, trusts or other individuals if you so wish.

When should you seek legal advice with regards to your will?

Although it is not a legal requirement to use a solicitor when writing your will, there are some occasions when sound legal advice is necessary.

  • If your estate or bequests are complicated.
  • If you have remarried and have children from a previous marriage.
  • If you have assets, e.g. property or investments abroad.
  • If the value of your estate exceeds £325,000 (nil band rate for 2016/2017).
  • If you will be providing for someone with mental or physical disabilities.

*The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate Will Writing

A Last Will and Testament document being signed.
An older couple examining their Last Will and Testament.

Although we don't personally carry out will writing services, we highly recommend it as part of a sound financial plan. We know of many highly recommended solicitors who can happily assist you in this process.

A decorative stone building front with the word 'solicitors' affixed in individual metal letters.

If you need help writing your will or don't know where to start? Call Thompson Prior today for unbiased and professional advice 01746 716767