In light of the recent YouGov survey 63% of the UK adult population don’t have a valid Will. This figure is down on the statistic that we have previously seen bandied around (circa 2011) which suggested that the figure was closer to 67%.
What does this mean? According to S.7 of the Wills Act 1837 you have to be 18 (a UK adult) to write a valid Will. With an ever increasing population this new stat shows us that more adults have a Will than ever before. Consider also that the average salary is on the increase and that the value of someone’s estate is on average increasing there is the ever present need to understand why writing a Will is so important.
Getting down to the nitty gritty of writing a Will is where we start to see why people don’t write them. When it comes down to it people really don’t like to consider their own mortality, and are only too happy to put off the subject until a life event such as the death of a family member means that it raises its ugly head again with an urgency that forces them to act. Then there are those people that simply don’t understand. The subject of inheritance can be incredibly murky at times and it is a common misconception that everything will simply pass to your nearest and dearest. The laws of intestacy can often catch out those who do little to prepare for their own passing, and we encourage anyone to sit down and talk about their estate plan with a professional Will Writer.
For those people who haven’t yet written a Will for the reason that they are cost conscious then we have advice for them as well. Sitting down with an Estate Planning consultant doesn’t have to be painful to you or your wallet. In accordance with our Code of Practice (S.4.3), members are required to give specific information to prospective clients like the cost of their service, their advice and a summary of the main characteristics of the service. This advice is simply that, advice. You don’t have to take them up on their suggestions and the accompanying price. It’s definitely worth speaking with a trusted and honest trader to understand what estate planning you should be doing.
Some of the simple reasons why writing a Will is important are listed below:
- With a Will you can choose exactly who you would like your estate to be handled by when you pass away. This is the person (or organisation) who will draw in assets, pays liabilities and distributes the estate in accordance with your Will.
- Many people support a charity or good cause during their lifetime. They may wish to leave a gift or sum of money to said charity in their Will. This is one of the only ways to ensure that they leave a lasting legacy.
- If you remarry and have had children with both your new spouse and your previous partner there is a strong likelihood that you would not want children from the former relationship to be excluded. Not having a Will could mean that your children from the former relationship could be disinherited should something happen to you. Whilst we are sure that many spouses would never do this, money or greed often brings out the worst in people and we’ve heard stories where children have been disinherited when they were sure that their parents would have wished for part (not necessarily all) of their estate to pass to them. A Will is the only real way to ensure your family are cared for.
Whilst the latter of our examples do make the subject sound somewhat contentious it really isn’t that bad and the whole process is quite simple. To find a Will Writer in your area either give us a call on 01522 68 78 88 or visit our ‘find a member’ section of our website and search for your town or city.