New Year’s Resolutions

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As everybody returns to work and children start back at school, a sense of normality is descending upon us. The fun of a festive season is enjoyable whilst it lasts but it is important to look ahead to the forthcoming year, whether that is for you as an individual, or whether it is your business that you are planning ahead for.

For many people the start of a New Year also signals an opportunity to get their affairs in order, which may include making a Will and/or a Power of Attorney. This might also be particularly important in the context of running a business and considering a Business Continuity Plan should anything happen to you.

Reasons why you might want to prepare a Will include:

1.Peace of Mind – one of the overriding reason people make a Will is often for the “peace of mind” that it brings when it has been put in place.

2.Executors – it is only by making a Will that you get to choose who your Executors and Trustees are.Whether this is a family member, a trusted friend or a professional advisor all depends on the circumstances, but could be a combination.

3.Guardians – for those with young children then preparing a Will can include appointing guardians, just in case the worst case scenario arises.

4.Control – many would like to be able to dictate what should happen forever, but realistically this is not possible.However, by including appropriate provisions within a Will this can be achieved, in part, if desired.

5.Distribution – it is only by making a Will that you can specify how you wish your estate to be divided, rather than relying on the Intestacy Provisions, which have a set formula.

6.Business – future ownership of the business can be determined under the terms of a Will, which might also provide an opportunity to consider succession planning in a wider context.

7.Protection – if you have young children, who will ultimately one day benefit from the estate, then you may feel that allowing them to inherit at the age of 18, which is what would happen under the Intestacy Provisions might be inappropriate but by making a Will you can postpone this age to, say, 21 or 25.

8.Philanthropy – many people support charities, and may wish to include leaving something to those good causes under the terms of the Will.It is only by having a Will that this can be achieved.

9.Taxation – consideration can be given to the structuring of a Will to minimise the impact of Inheritance Tax.

10. Funeral wishes – dealing with bereavement can be a difficult time, especially if nobody knows what arrangements you would like to have put in place for your funeral.This can be achieved by preparing a Will, which can be as detailed as you want to make it.

In addition to these there are many other personal reasons why people like to make a Will, but if it was your New Year’s Resolution to get your affairs in order and to make or update your Will then please contact Richard Horwood.

Please note the contents of this blog are given for information only and must not be relied upon. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to specific circumstances.