Despite the fact that death happens to everyone sooner or later, an astonishing 60% of adults in the UK don’t have a Will. There are many reasons why this is the case. Popular rationales for not having a valid Will include feeling too young to need a Will, being reluctant to think about dying, and (often erronesously) assuming everything will automatically be left to the spouse or children.
Reasons People Put Off Writing Their Will
Some people worry that producing a Will is too expensive and not worth the trouble as there aren’t enough assets to merit a Will. Other reasons are concerns about paperwork, lack of time, and simply ‘not getting around to it’. And some people do not have any immediate family to whom they would like to leave their assets. In these circumstances, we always advise leaving a Will, as you can choose a charity to benefit from your estate, which will otherwise go the Crown (i.e. the government) if you don’t have any traceable relatives.
Why You Should Write A Will Anyway – Despite These Reasons
While all these concerns are valid to some extent – no one likes to think about their mortality – there are many good reasons why writing a Will is essential. One of the main benefits is your peace of mind. The problem with putting off Wills and estate planning is that you can’t safely assume how the future will play out. Writing a Will gives you a say and some form of control over who benefits from your estate, rather than having all the decisions made for you after you are gone.
Writing a Will can also ease the burden on your family. Even if you don’t have many assets to speak of, family members often say they feel more at ease when there is a Will in place, as it eliminates the guesswork of trying to make decisions based on what their loved one would have wanted. Losing a loved one is a traumatic enough without this added worry. At the very least, appointing an Executor in your Will prevents someone having to apply to the courts to be appointed as the administrator of your estate – an avoidable burden at the worst time for your family.
The consequences of dying intestate – the legal term for dying without a Will – easily outweigh the time and cost of making your Will. There may be considerable tax implications for your relatives. Choice is taken away from your family, as the main consequence of dying intestate is that the law determines what happens to your estate – and this may not be what you would wish for your hard-earned assets.
If you have children then by writing a Will you can include your wishes regarding who will look after them, if they are under 18; at what age you would like them to inherit; and, up until they reach this age, who you would like to look after their inheritance on their behalf. These are known as your Guardians and Trustees.
If you don’t have a Will, your wishes may not be followed and, in the worst-case scenario, your loved ones may experience problems managing and accessing your assets.
Get Started Today – It’s Easier Than You Think.
If you live in Hampshire or Berkshire and would like expert advice about the consequences of dying intestate in the UK, contact Cornerstone Wills for a consultation to safeguard yourself and your family for the future. We are currently offering a first-time Will-writing service for people aged 40- 60, so don’t put it off any longer – get in touch today
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