When it comes to New Year resolutions, the decision to finally get round to writing a will comes high on many people’s agenda. However, just like many January good intentions, thinking about it and physically doing something about it can be two very different things.
The mere thought of death can be understandably terrifying; never mind contemplating what happens to our estate when we’re no longer here. Yet it’s estimated that a staggering 60% of adults in the UK die intestate – without having made a will – despite their families reporting that they had clear verbal intentions about what would happen to their estate after they passed.
When adults die without a will, their assets are distributed according to the laws of intestacy. These laws can often contradict our own personal wishes meaning that the people we care the most about stand to potentially lose out.
Some people mistakenly believe that by not having a will, their assets will bypass the time and expense of probate; but this is not true. Another misconception is that wills are only for individuals over a certain age or financial status. Again, not true.
Whilst making a will can seem a complex process, it is in fact very simple.
And it can be made even simpler with just a bit of thought and pre-planning. Incredible as it may seem, in less time than it takes to watch an episode of your favourite TV show, you can jot down the basic information a solicitor might need to help protect your loved ones after you die; and ensure that your estate is dealt with in accordance with YOUR wishes.
SO, WHEN SHOULD I GET A WILL?
Basically, anyone who is over 18 years of age, who is of sound of mind, is entitled to produce a Last Will and Testament. This legally binding document can ensure that any of your dependents including your spouse/children/step children are adequately provided for. It can also help to protect your partner if you are unmarried. If you have an inheritance, even if it’s in trust, you should also seriously consider making a will.
Whilst will writing is perceived to be an activity reserved for the over 40’s, as we get older, our lives and financial interests become more complex and conditions related to old age and illness can make it impossible to know where to begin. So there really is no time like the present!
Before approaching a will writing specialist such as Laura Bywater at Price Slater Gawne, it can be helpful to make a start on the planning phase yourself. And in our follow up article, we’re going to give you a checklist of key points you might want to consider when organizing your thoughts to accurately reflect your intentions.
If you think you have all the information you need already, feel free to call Laura today on 0161 615 5554 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.