Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Why Wills Matter; Julie Garbutt, Sintons LLP

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Why Wills Matter; Julie Garbutt, Sintons LLP

Article excerpt

Last weekend hundreds of people came and asked us about wills. They ranged from couples in their early 30s who have just had their first child, to single people in their 40s and those in their 70s with grandchildren.

Our stand at the Living North Live event at Newcastle Racecourse was a hive of activity and it was genuinely intriguing to hear people talk about why they do - and perhaps more importantly, don't - get around to actually making a will.

We made a simple, direct statement: If you care about your family ...

1. Make sure you have a will. ? 2. Make sure it's up to date. ? 3. Make sure it can be found. During conversations on the stand, many people seem to readily appreciate the real benefits of having a will. Who could argue that making your wishes clear is better for everyone? Or that appointing suitable guardians for your children is essential? Making sure others know where to find your will proved trickier - not everyone was sure where their own will was, let alone those of their close relatives!

10 good reasons for making a will ? Your wishes are clear to everyone.

You decide which relatives, friends and others benefit.

You choose who will administer your estate and carry out your wishes.

You can appoint guardians to look after your children.

You provide financially for your dependents. ? You avoid possible disputes among family members.

You minimise inheritance tax as far as possible.

Your funeral arrangements are carried out as you wish.

You retain control rather than Intestacy Rules applying.

Those people who already had wills were often unsure whether changes in their circumstances meant they needed to alter their will.

As a rough guide, it's worth reviewing a will about every five years to take account of changes in tax and other legislation.

However, major life events such as getting married or entering a civil partnership, divorce, having children or grandchildren, or gaining significant wealth through a business or inheritance, should always prompt you to review your will.

You are likely to make significant changes to your will as a result of these events in terms of who you wish to leave your money and assets to, and how any children will be looked after. …

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