Although the making of a will is a very simple task many people neglect to make one, leaving their dependants and loved ones in a potentially vulnerable position if the unexpected happens.
The consequence of passing away without having made a valid will (known as having died ‘intestate’) is that neither you nor your family will have any influence over how your property is to be distributed.
In such circumstances your assets will be divided in accordance with the rules of intestacy as set out in the Succession Act 1965. This approach can often be very much at odds with your wishes and the needs of your dependents.
Apart from the peace of mind that comes from ensuring that loved ones and dependents will be taken care of, other benefits to making a will include limiting your tax liabilities and the nomination of a person to manage your affairs after death (known as an ‘executor’).
Also if you have children, your will can state how you wish for them to be cared for personally and financially after your passing.
Making a will is a relatively simple affair. Generally it will involve a consultation with a solicitor so that instructions can be taken on your needs and requirements.
Following from this a draft is prepared for your approval. Once this draft has been witnessed and signed it will have legal effect.
A will can be changed as many times as you like during your lifetime. This may be important if your circumstances change, such as if you remarry or become widowed.