6 Facts You Need To Know About Wills

19 November 2021
There are millions of people who own assets, have had a change of life circumstances or are simply putting off the task of creating a will.
Image shutterstock 1032685297
A will is a legal document that sets out how you want your estate to be distributed when you pass away. There are a lot of facts about wills that many people don’t know, which could also be described as common misconceptions. If you do not create a will, this could result in your loved ones not benefiting from your estate in the way you might have wished.

Our team at John Fowlers will ensure that your will is prepared and executed according to your wishes, speak to our team today in Essex to book an appointment today.

1- You do not have to be 18 to make a will 

There is an exception to the age you can create a will, but that’s only if you’re a soldier on active duty or a sailor at sea. In this case, you can create a will at any age

2 - If you have any debts, these do not go away when you pass away

Any debts that you have incurred through your life and are still outstanding will need to be paid from estate funds. Once these have been paid, the remainder of your estate can be distributed in accordance with the wishes expressed in your will. There can be times where an estate is insolvent or ‘bankrupt’ if this is the case, there are not enough assets to repay the debts. 

3- You can leave gifts to charity 

Did you know that any gifts you make to a UK charity in your will is free of inheritance tax? As well as the gift itself being tax-free, charitable gifts can also reduce the amount of inheritance tax that the rest of your estate will pay.

4 - ‘I don’t need a will, because everything will be received by my spouse automatically’

This is another big misconception when it comes to wills, and the truth of the matter is that when you pass away and you do not have a will in place, your spouse will not necessarily receive everything. If you have children and pass away without a will, your spouse will inherit £250,000 of your financial assets, your jointly held assets and only an interest in the other half estate. 

If there are no children, then the spouse will receive only the personal possessions and the first £450,000. The remainder is then halved between your spouse and the rest of the family. 

5 - Your will can not appoint someone to make decisions for you if you are unable to 

A will is a document that only ever comes into force upon a person's death. You therefore can not grant someone power or instruction to be followed while you are still alive. 

If you want to make these arrangements and have someone you trust make financial and health decisions on your behalf then you should arrange a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) which can be drawn up by your solicitor.

6 - Roughly 54% of adults do not have a will 

Wills are something people do think about a lot, but will often ‘leave it for another day’. As well as this, 59% of parents either do not have a will or have one that is out of date. If you already have a will, it’s important to ensure that it is updated so your estate and possessions are passed down with your wishes.

To update your will or if you are ready to create a will, our friendly experts are here to help you. Book an appointment today.