Resource Centre

What happens to an employee who doesn’t have a Will?

The main benefits of making a Will

You can decide who inherits your possessions, property and money

If you do not have a Will in place, the law decides this for you and your estate is distributed in accordance with the Laws of Intestacy. This means that your partner may get nothing at all if you are not married. By having a Will you can stipulate exactly how your Estate (all your possessions, assets) is to be distributed and in what proportions.

You can use Trusts to your advantage to help future inheritors

A major benefit of a professionally drafted Will is the fact that it can ring fence your Inheritance Tax allowance for specific future beneficiaries, creating a Trust which can protect the assets from hostile creditors. The benefit of holding the assets in Trust is that it ensures a large Inheritance Tax bill does not burden your future inheritors, always ensuring that the assets are accessible to them.

You can appoint guardians for young children

A Will allows you to nominate specific guardians to look after any minor children. This is very important, as the authorities will do this on your behalf if no one has been named in this capacity. Their appointment is unlikely to coincide with your own wishes and may be hugely upsetting and disruptive for your children. It can also sometimes mean that a partner (if you are not married) does not automatically become guardian to your children, even though they may be the father.

You can set up Trusts for the benefit of children or to protect funds from being wasted

Setting up a Trust can have a number of significant benefits. Firstly, it is a very good way to ensure that funds are not inherited by a beneficiary when they are too young to make best use of them. Basic terms can be put in place to prevent the beneficiary wasting the money or assets that you have given them. Establishing a Trust also allows you to make secure financial provision for disabled children.

You can leave a legacy to charity or make provision for a family pet

Writing your Will provides you with the opportunity to leave a legacy to your favourite charitable organisation (this would be free of Inheritance Tax) or to make provision for the care of a family pet.

You can make provision for your funeral

You may have quite specific ideas about what you would like to happen when you die. These wishes can be detailed within your Will.