Making a Will is often something people don’t bother with until they are older or have children. But once you reach the age of 18, you should seriously consider writing your first Will.
Although many young people don’t think about making a Will, it is a good idea to have one in place so that in the event of something happening, loved ones know exactly what your wishes are.
If you don’t make a Will
If you should die intestate, ie. without a Will, then your estate will pass in accordance with the rules of intestacy to members of your family. This can involve your family having to deal with additional work in winding up your affairs and will also mean that those outside of your family that you might have liked to include will be left out.
Do you need to have assets to leave?
You may think that you don’t have enough assets to leave, but your Will can include gifts of your personal possessions as well as money. You may in fact be worth more than you realise, if for example, your workplace has insurance cover in place for you.
Over time you will accrue more assets, and the Will can stay in place until such time as you want to rewrite it, for example on marriage.
When it is particularly important to have a Will?
If you’re cohabiting, then your partner will not be entitled to anything under the rules of intestacy. If you want to leave them anything, you will need to make a Will.
If you jointly own a property, that could also pass under the rules of intestacy, depending on the type of ownership you have. If you own the property with someone as tenants in common, then they will not automatically inherit your share, rather it will pass in accordance with the rules of intestacy, or under the terms of your Will.
This means that if you and your partner have bought a home together, they will not necessarily receive your share of it should you die.
Making a Will
Once you are 18 you are entitled to make a Will. It doesn’t have to be complicated, you can simply give a lawyer a list of who you would like to receive your assets and they will draw up the document to be signed by you and stored until needed.
As you journey through life you are likely to want to update the Will, either by adding a codicil or having a new one drafted. But it is a good idea to get into the habit of having your affairs in order early on.
No-one knows what the future holds, and by being prepared, you can relax safe in the knowledge that should anything happen to you, your money and possessions will go to those you would like to have them.