No one likes to think about what will happen when they die and this may be a reason why it is estimated that two thirds of people in the UK die without having made a valid Will.
By making a Will you will ensure that your family and/or friends avoid unnecessary legal and financial problems at what may be for them a very difficult time.
If you do not have a Will your estate will be divided according to rules of intestacy which may not produce the result that you wish. By making a Will you can decide exactly who gets which assets and in what shares. This means that as well as distributing the large financial assets in your ownership you can also specify gifts of particular items of personal or sentimental value to friends or family.
When you make a Will it is necessary to appoint at least one executor and you therefore have an opportunity to appoint in your Will the person or persons that you have most confidence in dealing with your financial affairs after you die.
Most people appoint close family members as executors but there is nothing to stop you appointing friends, solicitors or accountants or a combination of these people.
It is particularly vital to make a Will if you have young children in that probably the most important decision you will make in your Will is the appointment of guardians for your children.
If you do not appoint guardians for your children in your Will then if you die the appropriate government authorities will have the ability to appoint guardians in the way they see fit. This may obviously be upsetting both to the children and other family members at a very distressing time.
You also have the opportunity in a Will to make donations to charity which may, in some circumstances, be beneficial from an inheritance tax point of view.
Another provision that you are able to make in your Will is for you to give instructions as to the funeral arrangements that you prefer. Obviously, if there is no Will then your next of kin would have to make whatever arrangements they thought appropriate. Some people, for example, set aside money for a social function for particular friends as well as making the usual provisions to decide whether to be buried or cremated, where the funeral is to take place.