Many people put off making a will, but it is one of the most important things that you can do for your family.
A valid will can ensure that your money, property, possessions and investments (your ‘estate’) are passed on to the people and good causes that you have chosen.
If you do not have a will, you are deemed to have died “intestate” and the state will decide how your assets should be distributed. This could mean that those closest to you, or causes that you would have liked to support, end up missing out.
The other issue is that passing away with no will in place means your affairs can be left in a real mess for others to have to sort out, and it can take much longer for your estate to be dealt with and any money actually be paid out. If you are putting off making a will because you think it will be too much hassle, think how difficult it would be for your family or friends to deal with if you suddenly passed away.
Making a will is not expensive and any solicitor should be able to help you with this. Some workplaces or Unions also offer access to will-writing at a reduced cost, so check with your employer.
The solicitor will ask you to make a list of your assets (things like property, family heirlooms, investments, pensions or life insurance policies) as well as any liabilities (like mortgages or loans) and then decide how you would like to divide your estate. Couples will often make a joint will, which can be very straightforward but make a huge difference in the event of a bereavement.
Once you have made your will, it is important to keep this under review, as changes in your circumstances or assets may require amendments to be made. It is worth noting that existing wills automatically become invalid in the event of a marriage or civil partnership but not in the event of separation or divorce.
We are always available to discuss any queries or concerns, so just call or drop us an e-mail.
Please note that this is intended as a basic guide only and wills are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.