Finance

4 reasons to make a Will before you turn 40

Creating your Will

Many people think that Will writing is a task for the elderly. Those in their 20s and 30s assume they will have plenty of time in the future to think about the distribution of assets after their death, or simply don’t have time if they’re raising a family and/or pursuing a career.

However, as life sometimes cruelly reminds us, we don’t always have time on our side. With that in mind, making a Will should be a priority for adults of any age. Here, Nick Hughes, a Kent accountant who specialises in trusts and estate planning for UK and non-UK domiciliaries, gives us four reasons why adults should write a Will as soon as possible.

  • You never know what life will bring

All too often we see in the news or experience personally the tragic loss of someone taken too young. The fact is that we never know what’s around the corner. Making a Will can give us the comfort of knowing that should the unexpected occur, our wealth will be distributed as we desire. For high net worth individuals or those with assets overseas, wealth management can be particularly complex, so it’s reassuring to have the necessary arrangements in place while you’re of sound mind.

  • Protect your partner

If you and your partner aren’t married but you want to see your wealth passed to each other, a Will is crucial. Partners who aren’t married or in a civil partnership won’t automatically benefit should one pass away. Instead the Rules of Intestacy apply, and only relatives will be legally entitled to the estate.

  • Protect your property

If you own a property – whether by yourself, with a partner or with a family member –  it’s vital to make a Will if you want to pass it to the right person. If you own a property with someone else, it’s worth checking whether you are joint tenants or tenants in common, as this affects how property is passed on. Under the rule of survivorship, a joint tenant’s half of a property passes to the surviving joint owner when they die. It cannot be passed to a named beneficiary.  As tenants in common, there is no rule of survivorship so one individual’s share in the property can be passed on as they choose.

  • Appoint guardians for your children

For those with children, a Will enables them to appoint official guardians should both parents pass away before the children are legally able to take care of themselves. Without a Will, the State decides who will take parental responsibility, so it’s particularly important for fractured families.

Wealth planning

If you’ve decided to make a Will, it’s worth speaking to an accountant or Kent tax advisor before doing so. They will be able to help you calculate the value of your assets and determine the best way to manage your wealth, especially if your beneficiaries will have to pay Inheritance Tax. It’s also worth remembering that a Kent accountant for probate services can help executors of a Will with probate if necessary.

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