It is important to make a Will to ensure your assets will pass to the people you choose and to protect the interests of the people you care about.
A Will is a legal document which sets out who you would want to receive your assets and who will deal with your estate after your death. You can also include your funeral wishes in your Will and confirm who you would like to look after any young children after your death. A Will can also be used to structure the distribution of your assets for inheritance tax and estate planning purposes.
If you die without making a valid Will your assets will be distributed in accordance with the rules of intestacy. Under these rules only family members can benefit from your estate. The rules do not make any provision for partners who are not married or in a civil partnership, friends or charities to receive any assets from your estate.
Therefore, if you do not make a Will, you will have no control over how your assets will be distributed and your estate may not pass to the people you would want to benefit. For example, people who you care about may receive nothing from your estate but family members who you would never intend to benefit may receive a share.
It is particularly important to make a Will if you have a partner and you are not married or in a civil partnership, if you have children or if you have anyone who is financially dependent on you to ensure they are looked after.