Should I make a Will?

By Juliet Phillips-James, Director, Gomer Williams (as featured in the Llanelli Star)

Q: My children are constantly telling me I need to make a will. It is not something I have given much thought to as I do not particularly want to contemplate my own mortality. I presume that by law everything will pass to my children in any event and they can sort matters out from that point. Do you think that it is really necessary to make a will?

A: Without knowing more detail about your circumstances it is difficult to say, but even at the very basic level I would say whilst in some cases it is not necessary, in all cases it would be sensible to make a will.
Making a will ensures all your assets pass to those you wish to benefit from your estate. You may wish to leave certain possessions to particular people (eg. you may have a specific piece of jewellery that you would like a friend to have).
You may also wish to leave some money to specific people, such as friends and relatives that are not classed as your next of kin.
You may also want to appoint people other than your children as executors of your estate.
This is a position of trust as they will be responsible for administering your estate.
Depending on your circumstances, effective estate planning can also mitigate inheritance tax payable on your estate.
While everyone may seemingly get along with each other now, a lack of specific instructions regarding your wishes and feelings regarding your estate could lead to arguments after your days.
A will with clear instructions of your intentions could prevent costly claims against your estate.
Finally, a will should give you peace of mind that there is a clear record of your wishes and make matters easier for your family to deal with after your days.

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