Why you should make a Will

Private Client Solicitor, Martin Beames, explains why it is important to make a Will:-

It is estimated that perhaps only 30% of adults make a Will.  70% therefore are leaving to chance what will happen after they die; if you die without a Will, the law will set out who gets what and how your estate would be divided.  This may not produce the results you expect or wish for. If you die without a Will –

  • Your surviving spouse potentially may not have enough money to live on
  • Your family home may need to be sold
  • An unmarried partner will not automatically be provided for
  • Friends or charities will receive nothing
  • If you own or run a business, there will be problems for the ongoing management of it
  • You will have no control over who administers your affairs after you have died, or indeed over who would raise your children

Perhaps the most important point to appreciate is that if you are married (or in a registered Civil Partnership), but die without a Will, your surviving spouse does not automatically receive everything.  If you have children, your surviving spouse receives the first £322,000 automatically and half the remainder.  Bear in mind this may well include the value of your house.  This may well be insufficient for the survivor to live on, forcing a sale of the house at a time when stability and security are of paramount importance.  Crucially also, there may be insufficient monies available for your spouse to raise your children.

There may also be Inheritance Tax consequences which leave your family with a liability that otherwise could have been avoided.  If you run your own business, with no Will, the future management of it could be put at risk, as there will be nobody immediately available to take up the reins for you.

There is no concept of a “common law spouse” in estate law.  An unmarried partner has no automatic entitlement to anything from your estate, and would have to apply through the Courts in order to get anything, with no guarantee of success.  An unmarried father would not automatically have guardianship of any children.

By getting a Will professionally drawn up, here at Heringtons, you take control of your affairs.  This would then mean that you would determine who receives what and who takes care of any children.

However, it is equally important to get a professional to prepare your Will.  Would you have someone untrained perform an operation on you?  Then why would you allow someone untrained to prepare an important legal document for you?  A Will is an important legal document, and if there are any errors in it, these are generally not spotted until after you have died, by when it is too late!

At Heringtons, our specialist teams can assist you at our branch offices in Battle, Bexhill, Eastbourne, Hastings and Rye. We offer a bespoke Will writing service, which includes one of our Solicitors listening to your instructions and advising you.  We will then draft your Will and send this to you for your approval. When you are ready to sign your Will, you can visit our offices or we can visit you at home to witness your signature.

Contact us today to help you make yours. 


Martin Beames 

Private Client Solicitor 


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