Maybe you feel you don’t need a Will. If you are happy for the law to decide who should inherit everything you own, if you are happy for the law to decide who should look after your underage children, if you are happy for the law to decide who will administer your assets (as Executors), if you are happy to leave your wishes unrecorded causing your loved ones further uncertainty at an already catastrophic time, then you’re right – you don’t need a Will. But if you do feel it would be better to set your wishes down clearly, if you do feel that you owe it to those closest to you, then maybe you do need to put a Will in place. Nowadays as well, a tax efficient Will is very important – where you are married or have your relationship registered under a Civil Partnership then it may not necessarily be the best option to simply leave everything to the survivor. And if you are not married in the eyes of the law or have been married before and especially if there are children from a previous marriage then a properly structured Will is vital. If you don’t have this there could be unexpected consequences, which had you known beforehand you might have been unhappy with.

For a proper and full discussion covering all the points you should think about (and some you may not even have thought of before) which will result in a professional and properly drafted Will covering all your wishes and which could save considerable inheritance tax but which will cost a small fraction of this sum to put in place, please do get in touch with your usual mhd contact.

More and more people are being drawn to the idea of what is known as a Living Will. This is a document giving the opportunity to put in writing what your wishes would be if you were involved in a serious accident which resulted in hospitalisation. If you were unable to communicate your wishes to your family or medical staff they would have guidance through your Living Will on whether you would likely want medical treatment or despite the likely consequences whether you would want it withheld. The expression does not have the force of law but it is a considerable comfort to family and the medical staff treating you to have a clear indication of what you would want if you could communicate.

For advice on all aspects of private client work contact Kieran Fitzpatrick or Donald Skinner-Reid.

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