Benjamin Franklin once said ‘There are only two things certain in life; death and taxes.’ This might sound a rather gloomy – pessimistic outlook on life. However the flip side of the penny is that in order to pay tax, you have at least earned money, and to ‘shuffle off this mortal coil,’ you have at least had a life; hopefully a long and fulfilling one.
Whilst the timing of taxes is largely predictable, the truth is we can never be certain when our time might come to an end. We could live to a ripe old age or fate can ‘punch your ticket’ earlier than you might expect through illness or an accident. It’s not a subject any of us like to dwell on. Nonetheless, it’s something we all need to consider; particularly as we get older and have partners and children whom depend on us financially.
Reduce the stress and provide peace of mind
Regardless of when you go, it will doubtlessly be a time of much upset for your family, even if your death wasn’t entirely unexpected. Given this, having a Will in place gives you and your family peace of mind, in the knowledge that your estate (that’s to say any property, monies and possessions) along with any financial ‘loose ends’ will be taken care off after your passing. This will not only reduce the amount of stress your family might go through, but also, it will help ensure their financial stability after you are gone.
Your wishes carried out to the letter
A Will allows you to pre-determine precisely who will benefit from your estate and at what age, you can even include your funeral / disposal arrangements, all this carried out to the letter by your appointed Executors, Trustees and Guardians (the person(s) you have entrusted to follow the directions in your Will).
As we said earlier, tax is a certainty – even in death! The particular tax in question here is called Inheritance tax or IHT. Many people harbour the misconception that IHT is the domain of the super rich; this of course is incorrect. If your estate is above £325,000 – an amount easily achieved with property, savings, investments, cars and jewellery combined; your estate is potentially liable for IHT. By making a will there may be opportunities to reduce this by proper planning and structure.
Protect your family
Without naming guardians in a Will it could be said that you are being somewhat remiss in your duty and responsibility as a caring loving parent. That may sound harsh, however, you need to consider that if you were to die prematurely, through an accident or an illness, without a Will in place, it could mean that your children are taken into care. Whilst this might sound rather dramatic, such situations can and do occur. By carefully naming guardians in your Will this outcome can easily be avoided.
There are in fact many reasons to make a will, each of us is unique with varied objectives and concerns, as a result, each of us will have different motivations when creating a Will, but there can be no doubt that each of us really should take the time to get organised and put pen to paper.