Why making a will may be the most important decision you ever make

18 Nov 2019 Money remains one of the UK’s least favourite topics of conversation, it’s unsurprising then that research has found that 54% of UK adults don’t have an appropriate will; either they’ve never had one or their current will is out of date.  For many people, thinking about what will happen once you’ve passed on can feel too hard, unnecessary or just not a priority amid busy lives and careers.

Shona Lowe from 1825 discusses the most common reasons people have for not making a will and why these shouldn’t be an excuse.

  • I’m too young/I’ve not got anything to leave: It can seem unnecessary to think about what will happen in years to come but you’re never too young to take control of what will happen in the future. Even if you don’t own a property and have no money in the bank, whatever age you are, you do have things to leave.  It might not be money or property but what about the photos on your phone, your online bank account or your social media accounts? Our digital assets take many forms and can have real value, not only sentimental value Making a will allows you to have the final say on who inherits your possessions, no matter how small.
  • I’m single and don’t know who to leave it to: Whether it’s a brother or sister, a parent, a niece or nephew, a godchild, a friend or a charity, we all have people or causes we care about. A will allows you to clearly state who you want your estate to go to and can be amended at any time, should your circumstances and wishes change.
  • My partner and I have lived together for years, so everything will automatically pass to them:  There’s no such thing as a common law spouse so your partner will only get what you say in your Will you want them to get.  If you don’t have a Will or it doesn’t include them as a beneficiary, they’ll have to go to court and make a claim instead.
  • I’m married so I don’t need a Will for my spouse/civil partner to get everything:That might work in some cases, but certainly shouldn’t be relied upon.  The value of your estate and whether you have children can affect that so don’t take the chance – if you want your spouse or civil partner to get everything, say so in a Will.
  • I’ve got a young family and don’t have time: Life can be hectic with school trips, days out and sports clubs taking up a lot of parent’s time, however, making a will is crucial to ensure that your children are properly supported if you were to die before they reach 18 (16 in Scotland). A will allows you to appoint guardians and makes sure that  Social Services or the family courts won’t be left having to decide what’s best for your children. This could end up being someone that you wouldn’t have chosen.
  • I’m separated so don’t need a will to make sure my ex doesn’t inherit: While you may have separated your physical assets and no longer live together estranged spouses can still have an entitlement to part of your estate. If you made a will previously but have not updated it to reflect your new circumstances, there’s a risk that your ex may be able to inherit what you have previously said you wanted them to have or make a claim on your estate.  And even if you’ve got divorced, if you live in Scotland, that doesn’t invalidate your Will so you have to make a new one to override it.

When you decide to make a will it’s important to get it right. While you can write a will yourself or do it online, speaking to a professional that understands the intricacies of will writing and can advise you based on your needs both now and in the future gives you the peace of mind that your wishes will be carried out accordingly when the time comes.

To find out more information about the financial planning services 1825 offers please find further information at www.1825.com

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