Making a will gives you control over who inherits what, and when.

If you die without a will, your estate is divided in accordance with a one size fits all set of rules. Spouses or civil partners don't inherit everything, cohabitants need to apply to the court to receive anything, the provisions for half siblings are very limited and there is no provision whatsoever for stepchildren. Plus, the default position for children is that they inherit at 16. Making a will avoids these rules. Your will gives you control and certainty.

Having a will also means that it is quicker and less expensive to wind up your estate.

It is easy to make a will. You need only answer these questions:-

  • Who do you want your assets to go to?
  • When would they inherit - straight away when you die, or later?
  • Who would be the executors in charge of carrying out your will?

As an add on to that process you can also be advised on the following:-

  • A power of attorney, to name someone to make decisions if you lost capacity to do so yourself, through accident or illness.
  • How to protect your assets if your heir inherits and then faces claims by their creditor or their spouse or cohabitant.
  • If you own a business, what your agreements (should) say about what happens if you or a business partner die.
  • If you have an intended heir how do you protect your plan from others who are disappointed by this and have a claim to make on your assets to thwart your plan.


Leigh Gould