In your twenties or even thirties, making a Will isn’t always a top priority. Many claim they’re too young, they don’t own enough or they don’t have any children yet or they can’t afford it! Furthermore, with the life expectancy of the average person in the UK at an all-time high, many think that a Will is something that you do when you are ‘old’.
It seems there are many reasons not to make a Will, but unfortunately, there are more reasons to make one. More so, if you are co-habiting or you don’t wish for certain members of your family to inherit your assets. This doesn’t necessarily mean home ownership – there are many other items to consider, such as cars, pets and even photographs of travelling adventures with friends.
If you do not have a Will in place, the law will simply decide who inherits your possessions. The ‘rules of intestacy’ set out who inherits if there is no Will, so the people who matter most may end up with nothing. This can come as a bit of a shock, is incredibly sad and adds more upset to an already difficult time.
The best way to ensure that your assets are distributed as you wish is by having a properly drafted Will made. You can review it when those wishes change, or after any significant changes in your life.
Research from Will Aid found:
- Residents of Wales have the lowest proportion of people with a Will – 33%.
- 6% say the reason they have not made a Will is because they have not got around it.
- 44% of those who are married or in a civil partnership have not written a Will.
- Almost 70% of cohabiting couples have no Will. This means that on death, the surviving partner would have no automatic right to inherit.
Another alarming statistic is that 53% of parents have not prepared a Will. A Will is a vital instrument for appointing a guardian if the worst should happen. If you die without appointing a guardian the courts will decide who is appointed to look after you child. At a time when a child is already grieving the loss of their parent they could then be placed with a person neither related nor known to the child.
In the UK, you must be 18 years old to execute a valid Will (or 16 if you are in the armed forces).