When Should You Write a Will?

If you make a will, you can ensure your loved ones inherit any assets you own when you pass away. With this in mind, Prestige Tax and Trust Services asks; when should you write a will?

Specific circumstances

Under UK law, you can write a will any time after you turn 18 years old. Whether you should write a will, however, often depends on your individual circumstances. If you experience certain life events, for example, you might want to protect any assets you own (money, property etc.) so they can be inherited by loved ones when you die.

Become financially independent

Under the rules of intestacy, if someone who’s unmarried dies without children and has no will, their assets will be inherited by their parents. This won’t matter if you’re young and still depend on your parents for financial support – as they probably gave you most of what you own. However if you’re unmarried, have no children and are financially independent you’ll need to write a will to pass assets to people other than your parents.

Get married

The rules of intestacy dictate that your spouse can inherit if you die without leaving a will. However, if you want to provide for your spouse in ways the rules of intestacy won’t allow, you might want to write a will after you get married so you can detail how you wish your estate to be divide among your loved ones. Also, if you’ve written a will prior to marriage, you might want to create a new one after your wedding. Wills are automatically revoked upon marriage under UK law, so you’ll need to make a new one to ensure the rules of intestacy don’t determine who inherits your estate.

Get divorced and remarrying

You won’t necessarily need to write a new will after you get divorced. The law stops recognising a spouse’s right to inherit, even if you’ve included them in your will, when the decree absolute is issued, which officially ends the marriage. However it’s advisable to make a new will before you get remarried, so you can determine what your new spouse will inherit from your estate if you pass away.

Have children

We’d strongly advise you to write a will, or make a new one, after you have children. Primarily, you’ll need to say who will become your childrens’ legal guardian if you die before they become 18, which you can do with a will. Also, you’ll need to detail which assets from your estate will be available to provide for your childrens welfare until they reach 18, which can also be done via a will.

Become terminally ill

If you become terminally ill and you have no will, you may wish to create one while you still can. Not only will this ensure that your estate isn’t divided up by the rules of intestacy, it will also allow you make a charitable bequest to a hospice or charity that provided you with care and treatment while you were still alive should you wish.

Prestige Tax and Trust Services

In conclusion, there are certain times in your life where you may want to make a will to ensure your loved ones are provided for if the worst happens. We always say it’s better to make a will too early than too late, so if you’re thinking of pursuing this option, let Prestige Tax and Trust Services help. Our team has the experience to write the will you need to protect your loved ones, should you pass away.

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