More than half of all adults in the UK do not have a will, which can cause additional heartache to those left behind.

If you die without making a will, certain rules that dictate how your assets are distributed come into force.

Dying intestate – without a will – may result in those who you want to benefit from your estate, receiving nothing and the Crown taking your estate instead.

Unmarried partners, and those who are not in a civil partnership, will not receive any inheritance unless a will has been made.

And if you have children, a will can specify who cares for them should you die when they are young.

Writing a will is a quick and easy way of providing peace of mind that your estate will be divided up exactly how you want when you die.

And if you fail to make your wishes clear in a will, there is also the risk of leaving your loved ones with a hefty and unexpected tax bill.

Inheritance tax (IHT) is payable at 40% on the value of an estate above the £325,000 threshold.

A record £5bn in inheritance tax was collected by HMRC in the 2016-17 tax year, with a further £2.4bn being taken from people’s estates between April and August 2017.

The Office for Budget Responsibility predicts £5.4 billion of inheritance tax will be paid to the Treasury by from April to March 2019.

A new exemption for inheritance tax called “residence nil-rate band” was introduced in April last year and is now worth £125,000, which will rise to £175,000 by 2020.

But this allowance can only be used if you are passing your home onto your children or grandchildren.

Writing a will is the only way to ensure your property, savings and possessions go to the people you want to benefit from them after you die.

Amphlett Lissimore’s solicitors will provide you will the very best advice, tailored to your needs, to prevent you from making costly errors.

For more information or to book an appointment, call our Wills and Probate department on 0208 771 5254.