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9 September 2020 | Comment | Article by Matthew Evans

Helping others in your will: why it’s never been more important

Making a valid will is incredibly important at any time of the year. It’s a frightening statistic that two-thirds of the adult population in the UK die without leaving a valid will. This week charity, Remember a Charity, is running its annual awareness week to highlight200 UK charities who rely on gifts in Wills to continue their vital work.

There are many reasons why an individual should make a will: to leave your affairs in good order, to ensure your wishes are carried out and to avoid unnecessary difficulties for loved ones.

And, there are other reasons too:

Protect your home – If you own a property, your next of kin may not be automatically entitled to it.

Protect your assets – You need to specify who you want your assets to pass to and on what terms.

Protect your partner – If you are not married, or you are in a civil partnership, your partner may not be entitled to anything.

Name your children’s guardian – If you have children under the age of 18, you will need to appoint a legal guardian in the event both parents die. If you don’t, the decision could be left to the courts.

Protect your children – You need to ensure your children/stepchildren / foster children are provided for financially.

Appoint an executor/trustee – You should choose who will administer your estate after your death to ensure your assets pass to the beneficiaries of your choosing.

Inheritance tax considerations – While your spouse or civil partner may inherit your estate tax-free, it may be taxable for your children and grandchildren.

These reasons never change and are as important now and they were this time last year. But what has changed is the increased anxiety and stress brought about by the worldwide health crisis we are living through.

Making a will has never been more important to provide peace of mind to you and your loved ones.

Another good reason for making a will is to consider including a legacy to your favourite charity or organisation. We’ve all been affected by the Covid-19 crisis, none more so than charities who have seen their funding slashed. This has put many good causes in a difficult position as many provide invaluable and ongoing support.

Remember a Charity Week is an ideal opportunity to consider leaving a gift to charity in your will, after looking after family and friends.

If you would like to speak to our team about making a will and leaving a legacy gift, please get in touch.

Author bio

Matthew Evans


Matthew is a partner and heads up the firm’s private wealth offering. He is responsible for the development, implementation and long-term strategy of the team.

Matthew has a UK-wide reputation in the field of contentious probate, recognised by his clients and peers in the leading legal directories.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.


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