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The Importance of Preparing a Will

There are a number of reasons why it is important to have a will but they can be summarised under two categories:

  1. increasing your ability to control the destination of your assets and;
  2. minimising the stress and cost for loved ones.

How does preparing a will allow you to retain control?

The importance of having a will is directly related to the fact that without one, the law imposes on us “intestacy rules” which sets out what will happen to most of your assets upon your death. (There are other rules that determine what will happen to other property, like property you hold jointly or held by a trust).

For example, did you know that if you are married or in a civil partnership and have children, your spouse is not automatically entitled to the entire estate? In fact, your spouse would only be entitled to first £322,000 (and personal possessions) and then the rest of your estate would be split equally between your surviving spouse and children. Not to mention that if you are not married or in a civil partnership, then your partner is not entitled to any of your estate under intestacy rules.

You may find that in your circumstances, instead of providing for your close loved ones, your assets go to other individuals in your wider family (or ultimately the Government) who would be set to inherit under the intestacy rules.

How does a having will empower individuals?

By contrast, wills empower us to decide exactly how we want to distribute our assets. If you are obtaining legal advice when preparing a will, you are able to set out:

  • Who will oversee the administration of your estate.
  • Who will be the beneficiaries of your estate and you can put in place measures for vulnerable beneficiaries (including leaving gifts on trust to disabled loved ones or give charitable gifts which are treated favourably for Inheritance Tax purposes).
  • Who will take care of any minor children you may have.
  • How your digital assets will be dealt with.
  • Your preferences for funeral instructions.

How do wills minimise stress and costs?

With a well-drafted will and good legal advice during your lifetime, you are likely saving your future executors and beneficiaries time, money and stress from potential court proceedings if loved ones are unhappy with their entitlement under intestacy. This is because you are setting out what you want, and you can put things in place if you are concerned about potential disputes.

You may think that the default intestacy rules suit you, but even in the unlikely event that it is, you may want to look closer at the default statutory provisions that apply and what it would be like practically for your loved ones to administer your estate without a will.

How can Morr & Co help when preparing a will?

We are not just professional will-writers who can ensure that your wishes are formally recorded without issue, we are also able to give tailored advice suitable for your circumstances. Taking legal advice when writing a will is also a good opportunity to review your financial affairs and consider what estate planning you may want to do. At Morr & Co, we provide a holistic approach and can support you with estate planning as well as helping you to identify potential risk factors and mitigate them with you.

If you have any questions or would like any further information on the content of this article, please do not hesitate to contact our Private Client team, who will be happy to help. Or email [email protected] or call us on 01737 854 500 and one of our team will be happy to assist.


Although correct at the time of publication, the contents of this newsletter/blog are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute, legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Please contact us for the latest legal position.

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