I have had the pleasure of helping clients with their estate planning and will writing needs for the past 22 years. During that time I have seen the importance of preparing for the inevitable and ensuring your wishes are set out in a will.
As you take significant steps in your life, whether it’s buying a home, getting married, investing your money or choosing to add children to your family, it is important to put the necessary documents in place to protect your assets and your loved ones, both now and in the future.
Hugh James is supporting Tŷ Hafan by helping their supporters with their will writing and we are one of five legal firms taking part in this month’s free will promotion.
On a personal level I have been involved with Tŷ Hafan since 2000 when I took part in the Welsh Three Peaks and have always viewed Tŷ Hafan as an amazing local charity which works tirelessly within the community.
Tŷ Hafan’s free will promotion is an excellent way for supporters to leave a legacy to the Tŷ Hafan in their wills. It also gives people a push to actually get their will drafted in situations in which they may not have otherwise done so.
Unless you have made a will, you cannot guarantee how your assets will be distributed, which is why we recommend that everyone makes a will and ensures that it remains up to date. By making your will you can:
Dictate to whom your assets pass and on what terms;
Choose who will administer your estate after your death and ensure that your assets pass on to your beneficiaries;
Choose who will act as trustee for any ongoing trust created;
Express your preference as to who you would wish to be the guardians for any of your infant children;
Express a preference for your funeral wishes;
Consider making a bequest to a charity; and
Ensure that your estate is distributed in as tax efficient a way as possible and that your assets are protected as best they can be.
Around six in every ten people who die each year in the UK do not have a valid will.
This means that the distribution of their estate is governed by the intestacy rules, which may result in outcomes that they did not want. These include:
That a person’s spouse will automatically inherit their whole estate – this is not always the case;
That a long-term partner or co-habitee (referred to by some people as a ‘common law spouse’) will inherit on intestacy – this is not the case; and
Today, gifts in wills left to Tŷ Hafan fund a whopping 25% of the care that Tŷ Hafan provides to children with life-limiting conditions and their families across Wales – that is a quarter of the money needed by the charity to support families every year.
By gifting as little as one per cent of your estate to Tŷ Hafan you could pay for 120 sessions of music therapy helping children to have fun, relax and express themselves through the art of music, singing or dancing.
Five per cent of your estate could pay for a whole day of expert medical care and support at Tŷ Hafan, including sibling support and multisensory playtime.
Tŷ Hafan simply could not continue to provide care for children with life-limiting conditions and their families in Wales without the support from gifts in wills.
So please, look after yourself and book an appointment before the end of March to write your will, or pair of wills, for free – and please, be a lifeline and include a gift in your will for Tŷ Hafan too.