I don’t need a Will because I’m young. It’s not important. I’m not married. I don’t have children. Everything will go to my family anyway.
Is this you? Well it shouldn’t be.
We of the younger generation know ourselves to be indestructible. Except, of course, when we are not. We don’t like to think about it. But we all have that friend, or that friend of a friend, or the boy from down the road, that we never see anymore. Every bunch of flowers by the roadside demarks another unexpected event. But it doesn’t have to be an unplanned for event.
Benjamin Franklin told us that “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” With a little advice, taxes can be managed during our lifetimes. But we can’t manage the winding up of our affairs from beyond the grave.
We can, however, make things as easy as possible for those who do have to do this. It could be as simple as naming those who should do this for you. Even if you do nothing else, appointing Executors will save time and money. And it means that your affairs will be dealt with by people you trust.
We have all seen it on TV, if not in real life, when families feud over the division of a loved one’s things. And we like to think that would never be us. But we don’t know how we or our families will react when grief takes hold. Administering the estate of someone who died without a Will can be a long, expensive, stressful process for those left behind. Providing instructions in the form of a Will not only makes things easier for your loved ones, but means that your assets will be divided among the family, friends and causes that you care about.
It may be that you know the statutory rules and are fine with them. If you don’t they may come as a surprise. Aside for some specific, quantifiable rights, your children will inherit before your parents and siblings, and all of them will inherit before your spouse. Your long-term partner has no automatic rights at all. Writing a Will will provide peace of mind to you that your affairs will be dealt with as you wish, and certainty to your family that they have done what you wanted.
So a Will is a good plan, whether you are comfortable, or if you are Bill Gates. Granted, some of the considerations might be different. For example, we would want to talk inheritance tax with someone like Bill Gates (or anyone with business or agricultural assets, or assets worth over £325,000 for that matter). There may be better ways we could structure his affairs. For those of us who are not Bill Gates, we might want to discuss ways in which our affairs could be structured to allow our families to retain a home, or a business, or ensure the dog will be looked after. If you have few assets in your own name, but interests in other assets, you can still arrange your affairs so that everything will run smoothly when you die.
Writing a Will is planning for the future. Planning for your family and friends. Planning for the potentially unexpected. Sadly, you are never too young to die, and a Will can be written from the age of 12. Once in place, it is done, and you can forget about it in the most part, only revisiting it if circumstances change.
If you would like to see how we can help you, please do get in touch.