Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Be Brave - We Need to Talk about Wills; HAVE You Sorted out Your Will Yet? SARAH DALE Finds out Why It Is So Important to Have a Will in Place

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Be Brave - We Need to Talk about Wills; HAVE You Sorted out Your Will Yet? SARAH DALE Finds out Why It Is So Important to Have a Will in Place

Article excerpt

Byline: SARAH DALE

NONE of us like to contemplate dying, but it really is so important to have an up to date will in place.

Solicitor Lucy Hoskyns-Abrahall at Jacksons Law Firm in Stockton said: "Whether you have one bank account and a cat or you have several businesses and children, having a will removes any uncertainty for those left behind."

Sam Tate of Vintage, Chartered Financial Planners in Thornaby, told the Gazette: ''The benefits of having a valid will in place cannot be understated.

"Most people welcome the peace of mind that comes from knowing that someone they trust will be taking care of their estate and that the administration of the estate will be far simpler in the event that a will is in place.

"In addition, taking professional financial and legal advice ensures that the estate is not only distributed in a way that meets the individual's wishes, but is also done in a tax efficient manner."

The only way to make sure that the things you have worked hard to acquire are passed to those that you want them to be is to make a will.

You might think that you have made it clear who is to benefit from your estate, but unless it is formally written down there is no way of being sure that your wishes will be carried out.

"There is a big misconception that family will sort it out," said Lucy.

"But it's not always easy for them to do, especially at such a difficult time.

"If estates are over a certain amount - pounds 250,000 - assets can go to people they're not supposed to.

"Another reason that people don't take out a will is they simply don't want to consider their own life expectancy."

It is a common misconception that only the wealthy need a will but this is not necessarily the case.

Many people own their own house or have life assurance policies, investments or savings accounts. Those assets alone could have substantial value.

Making a will can make your affairs easier to settle. Your family will save a lot of time and expense, which is all the more important if your estate is small.

"Making a will is also about making someone you trust an executor, choosing guardians for any minor children and setting up trusts for minor children," continued Lucy. …

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