Making a Will is something that many people embark upon in their later years, or perhaps earlier on if the need arises; e.g. when faced with a diagnosis of a serious or terminal illness. Today’s post is about breaking down the stigma that Wills are something for the elderly or unwell and to discuss the many beneficial and important reasons for making a Will before the ‘need’ arises.
When Acquiring Assets
We are presented with opportunities and prompts to make a Will when we purchase a property. This is an important time to make a Will for a number of reasons, dependant on the circumstances under which we buy.
A property (or properties) is usually the thing that forms the biggest part of an individual’s estate and so it makes sense to ensure that once we are gone that someone we care about benefits from that.
If we buy a property in our sole name, but perhaps have a partner living there with us, it is important to remember that unless married, that partner generally has no right to the property should the worst happen. Leaving a partner without a home in what will undoubtedly be one of the most stressful times for them is something that we don’t often consider in our twenties, thirties and even beyond when we are in good health, but unfortunately, we never can be sure what is around the corner and so it is important to plan for eventualities such as this.
As a rule, without a Will, your estate will fall under the rules of intestacy which can result in a number of different people acquiring rights over your estate dependent on its worth, perhaps even people that you wouldn’t want to leave anything to, so it is important to make sure that when you are gone, your wishes are still carried out in terms of your estate.
Another important reason for making a Will is if you have children, not only can you elect to leave things to them in your Will but you will also likely be appointing a guardian to look after them following your passing by way of a Guardianship clause in a Letter of Wishes annexed to your Will. Without expressing your wishes in a Will relating to guardianship of your child or children, they may end up in the care of someone other than the person you would have wanted to have parental responsibility over them.
We are in the age of social media and the majority of us below a certain age have at least some form of social media account that we will want to be dealt with in a certain way upon our passing. Similarly to the Guardianship clause, log in details for various social media accounts can also be added in a Letter of Wishes to your Will. For more information on this, there is a more in depth post here.
Common excuses not to:
It’s expensive – not so, a basic Will drawn up by ourselves costs around £110 plus VAT.
It will mean taking numerous days off work to come into your office to deal with– not so, we do not even need to meet you face to face. As a predominantly virtual firm, we will happily communicate with you via telephone and email to answer any questions you may have.
I don’t understand it – well, that’s what we as solicitors are here for, to guide you through the process and make sure that you understand the ins and outs.
What if I change my mind after making one, I’m only young and my circumstances change? – That’s fine, revisiting your Will is simple and easy and we can also help you with that at any juncture of change during your life.
I don’t have any money or assets to leave- maybe not but it is important to remember that your Will is reflective of what you have upon death, and not just what you have now.
If you require assistance in making a Will or require more information on anything arising out of this post, or on Wills generally, please do not hesitate to contact us and one of our team will be happy to help.