Over half of all UK adults have not made a will, and it is estimated that a third of us will die without having made one (a situation, legally known as ‘intestate’). If you die without a will, your family might be left with a confusing financial issue to resolve. As you make your will you may not be aware of extended family that could be overseas or born in a different country if your relatives have moved around a lot. To see if there is anyone else out there, you can do an obituary search of local areas that they may have lived in, so you can follow any leads that come up as you write your will, giving you the chance to tie up any loose ends.
Whether people think it is too expensive, it’s too time-consuming, or they just don’t like the thought of being parted from their loved ones; it still remains something not to put off or ignore. Moreover, once it has been set up and completed, it provides peace of mind moving forwards knowing that your loved ones will be taken care of.
There are some specific reasons why you should make a will. For example, if you have children under the age of 18, you should choose a close family member or friend to look after them if ever required. If you are not married to your partner, the law will not automatically recognise your relationship in a legal sense, and so it’s unlikely that any money or assets will be passed on to him or her should there be a bereavement.
Other considerations include;
– Specific funeral plans.
– If you have a ‘tenants in common’ mortgage, you will need to state what will happen with your share of the house/equity in the property.
– If you have property overseas, it’s important to look into the inheritance laws abroad.
– If you are a business owner and a sole director, you should appoint someone to authorise any payments and wages to prevent any business mishaps.
How to write a will;
– It is possible to hire a specific ‘will writer’ rather than a solicitor to draw up your will. However, unlike a solicitor, will-writers are not regulated by the Law Society.
– A number of trade unions and employers provide free will-writing services, so make enquiries.
– You can write a will yourself, but many people end up making a mistake, meaning that it will not be recognised legally.
– You can use a solicitor to create a will through legal procedure. It will give you the peace of mind that everything is taken care of from a legal point of view. You might find a few law firms that provide you with a questionnaire to fill, so that they can write a will to suit your circumstances and wishes. The form may have sections such as the executor of a will, beneficiaries, guardians for infants, funeral wishes, etc.
We’ve discovered this light-hearted, interactive webpage which address the importance of making a will. Just click on each piece of pink text and choose a reason you’ve not made a will yet from the pink drop-down menu that appears.
Whatever reasons you’ve made so far for not making a will, it’s important that you set aside some time to put one in place. What better time to get the ball rolling than now?