The short answer is “yes”. If you wish to have complete control and certainty over:-
(a) Who your executors are – who will be responsible for sorting out your affairs,
(b) Who your beneficiaries are – who actually receives your assets,
Then a Will is essential. You may also wish to determine who will be guardians for your children; whether certain personal belongings or minor cash gifts should go to friends and family; at what age your children might benefit from your assets.
Furthermore, if there is no Will then the Intestacy Rules are very arbitrary. Let me give you some examples:-
(a) If a husband dies leaving his wife and children, his wife will not necessarily inherit the entirety of his estate. She will inherit the first £250,000 plus joint assets and chattels and all the rest will be shared, as to half to her in a life interest trust and as to half to the children. In certain circumstances the wife might not even inherit the house.
(b) If a young married couple tragically die together without children and neither the husband’s family or the wife’s family with inherit everything depending on who has died first. The law generally assumes that the elder dies first and the younger second unless medical evidence can be brought to prove otherwise. Therefore one or other of the families will lose out.
(c) If somebody dies without many living relatives then there can be complex family tree issues to sort out which can only increase costs and see assets being split between a myriad of distant relatives.