While most of us know that it’s probably a good idea to make a Will, an estimated three-fifths of adults in the UK have so far failed to put one in place. We take a look at the reasons behind this and why it is beneficial to take steps to ensure you have a valid Will.
Making a Will is time-consuming and complicated
While it’s true that you will have to put some time aside to think about who you want to inherit your estate, most of the work will be done by your solicitor. All you need to do is let them know what your wishes are and they will be able to draw up a draft for you to approve.
A good Will writing solicitor will make the process as simple and straightforward as possible for you, clearly explaining the provisions and ensuring that your assets are safeguarded and will pass to your loved ones in the way that you would want.
For those left behind, it is far more complicated to deal with an estate when someone has died without leaving a Will.
I don’t need a Will as my spouse and children will inherit everything
When someone dies without putting a Will in place, their estate passes in strict order of priority according to the Rules of Intestacy. If they are married with children, then it is true that their spouse and children may inherit, but it may not be in the proportions they would have liked.
The Rules of Intestacy state that a spouse will inherit the first £270,000 of the estate, plus all personal possessions and half of the remainder of the estate. Children will share the remaining half equally. It is important to note that stepchildren and cohabiting partners will not receive anything under the Rules of Intestacy.
I simply don’t want to think about making a Will
This is a very valid reason for avoiding making a Will and it is the underlying cause of many people not having a Will. However, it is usually the case that once a Will is in place, it can be reassuring and comforting to know that loved ones will be provided for in the future, should something happen.
I don’t know how to share my estate between my loved ones
Where family structures are complicated, with remarriages, children from former relationships and stepchildren, it can be hard to know how to include everyone in the way that you want. An expert Wills solicitor will be able to discuss your options with you and ensure that your family are provided for as you wish, with your assets safeguarded against being left where you would not want.
Making a Will is expensive
In fact, making a Will is not expensive, but it could save your beneficiaries thousands of pounds. As well as ensuring that your estate is structured in the most tax-efficient way possible, having a Will greatly reduces the risk of a dispute arising after your death. If a claim is made against your estate, your administrators would be bound to defend it and this could mean a substantial amount of the money you leave would have to be used in legal fees.
Making a Will means that your loved ones have the reassurance of knowing what your wishes were and misunderstandings and disagreements can be avoided.
If you would like to speak to one of our expert estate planners, ring us on 01634 353 658 or email us at [email protected]