By making a properly drawn-up will, you can decide what will happen to your property and possessions after your death, ensuring that your loved ones are provided for and that they have one less thing to worry about.
A will ensures that you can leave your property and other possessions to whoever you choose (your 'beneficiaries'), although, of course, reasonable provision has to be made for your dependants.
Equally, you can specify how your assets are to be distributed. If you are an unmarried couple (whether or not it's a same-sex relationship), writing a will ensures that your partner will be provided for after you have gone. If you are divorced, you can state in your will whether or not you wish to leave anything to your former partner.
At a time when modern families are becoming increasingly fractured and litigation lurks at every turn, making a will has never been more important. There are also a number of financial considerations, such as Inheritance Tax, that make writing a will a sensible option. A will means that you can also choose the people who administer its terms (your Executors) and give them useful administrative powers.
Finally, but perhaps most importantly, parents are advised to write a will in order to state who legal guardianship of their children should transfer to in the event of their death. You must, of course, obtain the person in question's permission but, by making your desires clear, you can be sure that your children will be raised by the person you would have chosen.
Have you made a will? If so, have you reviewed it recently? Time and circumstances might mean that a Will made several years ago is no longer appropriate to your current situation. If you have made a will, and you have checked that it is up to date, then you can be sure that your wishes will be carried out when the time comes.
If you have not made a will, then you may be leaving matters to chance, or to the Law.
The Importance of Making a Will
How to Make a Will
Executors and Guardians
Inheritance Tax Planning and Advice
Planning Your Funeral
What happens if I die without a will (intestate)?
Advice and Information on Making a Will