WILLS & WILL TRUSTS
Wills: what happens if you die without making one?
Without a Will, the law decides who benefits from your estate and this may not be the people you would have chosen yourself. Your estate does not necessarily go to your spouse and if you are not married to your partner, he or she may not get anything at all. If something happens to you and there is no surviving parent with parental responsibility of your child or children under the age of 18, then people you have never met may decide who will be their legal guardian. Again, this may not be the person you would have chosen.
Benefits of making wills
In a Will, you are able to express your wishes as to what should happen to your estate after you have gone. It does not take effect until then, and you can revoke and rewrite it at any time during your life.
Wills: what do they cover?
Executors and Trustees
In a Will, you appoint Executors - people who you trust to administer your property and carry out the provisions of your Will. If there are assets to be held on someone's behalf, for example for a young child, then you will normally also appoint Trustees to manage those funds.
Guardian for children under 18
Are you a parent? Expecting a little one? Then there are a lot of things on your ‘to do list’: playgroups, schools, activities. If it is a new baby, you will be busy choosing a name and decorating the baby room, to name just a few. In your Will you can appoint guardians for any children under the age of 18; family members or friends of your choice to look after your children in your absence. Daunting, but very important.
It is important that you choose people that you trust. At Cambridge Wills we will guide you through the process, advise you on the things to consider and help you choose the right people for the right role(s).
Gifts of money or items
Do you have any items that you would like to leave to certain people? For example a family heirloom or your wedding ring? Or perhaps you want to leave money to a charity? We can help you to describe these gifts to make sure the right people benefit.
If you would like to make provision for a disabled person or wish to protect your inheritance for your children should your partner re-marry after your death, special provisions can be included in your Will to ensure that your wishes are followed through. If you run your own business, in your Will you can arrange for it continue or the value to be passed on after your death.
A Will is not a ‘once and for all’ document. If your circumstances change, so should your Will. We recommend reviewing your Will after important life events such as a birth, death, adoption, marriage, divorce, buying a house and moving countries. Marriage may revoke a previously made Will and also divorce will have consequences for your current Will arrangements. If you review your Will on a regular basis, you ensure the document remains appropriate despite any changes in the law or in your personal circumstances.