Just like buying a house, making a will is an important step in planning your family’s future. While a will is not a legal requirement when buying a house, it does make a lot of sense to put one in place.
Having a will ensures your assets are distributed to the person of your choice in the event of your death. The purchase of a house or any type of property will increase the value of your assets and the terms of your will should dictate to who and how these assets are to be distributed.
A person who dies without leaving a valid will is said to have died ‘intestate’. If you die intestate, any assets including property (if not owned as joint tenants) will be distributed according to a legal formula. This means you will have no control over who inherits the family home, and can result in undesired consequences such as the home being inherited by an ex-partner or distant relative.
The importance of having a will after purchasing a house increases if you have children who depend on you financially. A will helps to safeguard your children if the worst does happen, ensuring that they are looked after and that your estate is properly managed. It allows you to ensure that any minor children are cared for financially until they are of legal age to take control of their inheritance.
For these reasons, you should consider making a will once you buy a property. If you already have a will, you should consider revising it if your circumstances have changed.
If you’re considering buying property or in the process of purchasing a house, it’s a good idea to seek professional advice around setting up a will.
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