It’s estimated that around 30 million people in the UK don’t have a will in place. One thing these people have in common is that they are all going to die.
It’s no secret that we’re only on this earth for a short time. So what’s stopping you getting a will in place?
Think of all the time and effort you’ve put into buying your home, building a great pension, buying amazing paintings etc. To make things easier for those you leave behind, you only need to set aside a small of time, perhaps as little as a few hours one day of your life to write down what you’d like to happen to everything when you’re no longer here.
So why haven’t you (and millions of others like you) bothered to write a will yet? We understand the many issues around putting a valid will in place and we’ve explored some of these below:
Just never getting round to it
Why think about dying when you’re so busy living? Perhaps you’re one of the millions of people who knows why they need a will but day-to-day life just gets in the way?
Dying is an unknown quantity and as it’s not something you need to think about on a daily basis, so millions of people like you, simply don’t.
“I’ll get around to writing my will one day” – yes, but when? We’ve picked up the pieces on numerous occasions when “one day” sadly never came around for the individual involved.
Read more about what happens when someone dies without a will in place
Being too scared to think about dying
How many of us really know what happens to us when we die? For many people the thought of dying is just too much to bear because it’s a massive unknown.
Fear of death is known as thanatophobia and is a major reason behind people not wanting to think about writing a will, nevermind actually doing it.
Dying is inevitable but why put your fear ahead of peace of mind? If anyone close to you has passed away, you’ll know how difficult it is to try to think about things such as funeral arrangements when you’re grieving.
Don’t make things more difficult for your spouse, children or other relatives by dying without having your wishes officially documented. Disputes arising from someone’s death can be long, drawn-out affairs that could be avoided by clearly stating how you’d like your estate to be divided up when you die.
It’s perfectly natural and understandable to be scared of dying. You will die one day though no matter how much you try not to think about it.
Take the sensible step and get your will written as soon as possible so you can get peace of mind about the future.
Being unsure about the details
Not everyone is clear in their own mind who they’d like to leave their entire estate or parts of it to when they die.
This uncertainty could take many forms. For example, a bachelor may have two sisters he’s thinking of splitting his estate between when he passes away. He may have always got on better with one of his sisters and be deliberating whether to leave her the majority share of his estate or split it 50/50.
You may have many different assets within your estate and just think it’s going to take too long to sit down and work out exactly who should get what. The potential inheritance tax implications may be another area that’s putting you off into working out all the specifics.
Of course you don’t have to make a snap decision about the contents of your will. You may want to set aside an evening a week or one weekend in the near future to sit down and give it some real thought.
Only you can decide who you want to leave your estate to in your will. If you have a spouse and children then it’s probably a relatively easy decision. However, for example, if you have children and stepchildren and/or many different assets, the mere thought of sorting out your dying wishes might make you want to keep putting it off.
Although we cannot make the decisions for you, we can assist you by giving you advice on your various options and perhaps suggesting solutions you haven’t thought of.
Thinking it’s too complicated or expensive
Your will doesn’t have to be complicated. It may be as simple as leaving everything to your spouse, then your children, for example. Even if you have multiple assets, the actual drawing up of your will could be straightforward depending on your wishes.
Rather than deciding it might be complicated to get all the little details ironed out, it’s best to get some legal advice on your situation to see what the reality is. We’ve had many clients tell us that getting a will in place was not nearly as difficult as they’d imagined and they wished they’d done it sooner.
When it comes to cost, wills aren’t expensive to have professionally written. For a single will our costs start from £210 + VAT and outlays. That’s a small price to pay for peace of mind on your estate and paying that now, could ultimately save your loved ones time and expense when dealing with your estate.
You will notice there are online and DIY will writing services that are much cheaper than £210. Inevitably, some people will always go for the least expensive option, however DIY wills come with their own problems and may be invalid
Assuming everything will just sort itself out
When you die without a will in place, it’s known as intestacy. There are clear laws around the procedures which need to be followed when people die having not left a valid will.
You should never just assume, for example, that as a husband everything in your estate will automatically pass to your wife on your death. Depending on the size and nature of your estate, that might not be the case and it be that some of your estate passes to other relatives.
Depending on your personal circumstances, dying intestate could make things much harder and more costly than they need to be for the people you leave behind.
Imagine for a second that you’ve never discussed wills or dying with your partner and they wrongly assume you have a will in place. On top of their grief, they may get a shock when dealing with your estate isn’t as straightforward as they’d assumed it would be.
To finish up, we’ll have a quick recap of what we covered above:
- Around 30 million people in the UK don’t have a valid will in place
- You may understand how important a will is, but somehow never quite get round to sorting yours out
- You may be too scared to even think about dying and what will happen when they’re gone
- You may be unsure about who you want to leave your estate to
- Perhaps you think it’s too complicated or expensive?
- Maybe you just think it will all work out fine when you’re no longer here?
If there’s one document you should get sorted out in your life, it’s not your no claims discount on your car insurance, your employment contract at work or your car registration documents…
It’s your will. It’s your life. And it really does matter.
Contact Lindsay on the details below now to discuss your will.