They say there are only two things certain in every life; death and taxes.

Contrary to belief, you do not need to use a lawyer in order to write your own will. It must simply be in writing and be properly witnessed by two independent third parties when you sign it. However, if you have complicated tax affairs, you own a business or have assets overseas or you have children and/or have been separated, divorced or remarried, then you should certainly consider taking expert advice

In any event, you should make a will if you want any control over your assets after your death. Not doing so can cause untold heartache and distress for those left behind. Dying without a will means you die ‘intestate’. In such circumstances the usual rules applied are as follows;

  • If married, your husband or wife may inherit most or all of your estate and your children may receive nothing (except in Scotland), even if you are separated but not yet divorced.
  • If you’re not married and not in a civil partnership, your partner is not legally entitled to anything when you die.
  • If you make a will you can decide exactly what your children and grandchildren may receive from your estate when you die. If not, the rules set out above will apply.
  • Any Inheritance Tax that your estate has to pay may be higher than it would be if you had made a will due to the lack of prudent, legal tax planning.

It’s worth noting that if you die with no living close relatives, your whole estate may well belong to the Crown or to the government in its entirety! This law is called bona vacantia.

At Mortgage Required we offer a specialist wills and estate planning service allowing proper provision for all your loved-ones in the event of your death. We will ensure that the will properly reflects your wishes and is ‘tax efficient’ meaning the beneficiaries of your will receive the maximum possible and the taxman only gets what is due!

For more information see our Wills and Estate Planning page or speak to an adviser on 01628 507477.

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