A valid Will is a crucial part of responsible financial and estate planning.

A will allows you to:

  • control distribution – You can ensure how your estate, made up of your money, property, possessions and investments, will be distributed and to whom after your death thereby providing a clear plan for your loved ones.
  • appoint executors – These are people you trust who you appoint to carry out your final wishes and manage the distribution of your estate. Without a will, you would have no control over who would have this important responsibility over your estate.

  • nominate guardians – For your dependent children ensuring their care is entrusted to someone you have chosen. This is an important consideration as parents with young children often worry about who will look after their children should they die while the children are still minors. This can be especially worrying if you are divorced, separated or are the sole parent. Appointing a guardian provides peace of mind regarding the welfare of young children. Guardianship only comes into effect when there is nobody with parental responsibility left alive. If you do not make provision for guardianship in your will the decision as to who cares for your children could be left to the family courts who may choose someone you would not agree with or who your children may not like, want, or know well.
  • safeguard your home – If your home is in your own name, you can choose who you want to benefit from it and who the ultimate legal owners would be.  You may, for example, wish to gift it outright, leave specific loved ones a share of the property or give someone the right to reside there.
  • protect your unmarried partner – Unmarried partners are not entitled to anything from your estate unless specifically stated in your will. It is important therefore to have a valid will if you want to ensure that your partner receives the share of your estate you would want them to.
  • help to reduce the amount of inheritance tax that might be payable from your estate. The amount depends on the estate value and who you leave it to when you die. There are ways to reduce the amount of inheritance tax your estate may have to pay. For example, anything left to your spouse or civil partner will be automatically exempt from inheritance tax. Property left to your children and grandchildren is likely to generate a lower inheritance tax bill.

  • make specific gifts – If you want certain beneficiaries to have the benefit of specific gifts you should expressly provide for this in your will. This is important if you want to keep items in your family such as jewellery or sentimental pieces. Without a will, these items may not go to those who you would want or may end up with those who may not cherish them.
  • cater specifically for your pets. As a nation of pet lovers, there is often genuine concern about what would happen to and who would look after your pets when you die. You can include provisions naming someone to look after them and putting money aside to care for them and their health, including to cover vet plans and bills.

If you die without leaving a valid will, known as dying intestate, the law of intestacy dictates how your assets are distributed. This has the potential to lead to outcomes that do not necessarily align with your preferences as to who should benefit from your assets.

For example, intestacy does not recognise cohabitation no matter how long or permanent the relationship. So, as we have seen, unless you have specifically stated so in your will, an unmarried partner is not entitled to inherit anything from your estate. Intestacy law only recognises legally valid situations such as marriage and civil partnerships.

Without a will, the process of settling your affairs may become more complex and time consuming for your beneficiaries.

A will therefore allows you control over these decisions, promoting a sense of security for you and your loved ones.

What are you waiting for?

It is worth remembering that time waits for no man and tomorrow is not promised. And, as the saying goes, the only things that are certain in life are death and taxes!

It is never too early as an adult to think about preparing your will. It is important, however, to make that leap from merely thinking about it to actually having your will prepared.

A valid will is essential to ensure that your wishes are legally documented and honoured, providing clarity and peace of mind for yourself and your loved ones. It allows your legacy to endure with integrity and enables your intentions to guide the future after you are gone.

We would be pleased to assist you in preparing your Will or amending an existing Will.  Kindly email us on  info@whiterosblackmans.co.uk  with your enquiry and details so that we can begin preparation of your Will.


Kareemah Al’Hassan
Senior Solicitor, Wills and Probate Department

Whiterose Blackmans Solicitors LLP, Diamond House, 116 Brudenell Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 1LS

0113 216 5507