Drawing up a will is an easy step to take.
However, according to official sources, as few as 30% of the UK adult population has made a will, which begs the question: ‘why is uptake so low, despite the overwhelming evidence in favour of making a will?’
After all, it makes perfect sense; a professionally drafted will leaves clear instructions about how to distribute your estate (your property, money and possessions), after your death, and who should benefit or receive specific bequests. Ultimately, a professionally drafted will is difficult to contest and is the only safe way to ensure that your instructions are carried out, according to your wishes.
The Risks of Dying Intestate
The stark reality is that if you die without having made a will, known as dying intestate, the intestacy laws will be invoked, automatically, to decide what happens to your estate. Worryingly, the state also decides what happens to your children, if they are under 18 (16 in Scotland), when you die intestate.
Ideally, therefore, every adult should make a will, whatever their circumstances. Even if someone has limited assets and no close friends or family, they usually have an opinion about what they would like to happen to their personal possessions, after they have died.
In practice, few people would choose to give all their assets to the tax man, but this is exactly what will happen if you have no spouse or blood relatives and do not make a will! Why the Reluctance to Make a Will? The underlying reasons, it would appear, are far from straightforward. For instance, many people fail to make a will simply because they are unwilling to face the facts associated with dying.
The truth is that making a will does not mean you are going to die, imminently; it just means your family will not be caught up in a legal process that can be complicated, lengthy and expensive – and all at a time when folk are grieving and vulnerable, and least able to cope with the aftermath of their loved one dying intestate.
Getting it Right
The importance of making a legally-binding will should never be underestimated. Now, the good news is that it will probably cost you a lot less than you thought to engage the services of a specialist will writer.
Making a Will Made Easy:
Choosing a Professional Will Writer If your will is complex, you should consult a solicitor or a member of a professional body such as the Society of Will Writers, to ensure that the will is drafted to fulfil your wishes and expectations. Do bear in mind, however, that not all will writers are qualified lawyers, so do your research first. Enquire about the provider’s experience, qualifications, insurance cover and up-to-date training on the legal aspects of will writing.
Updating an Existing Will
The contents of your will should be reviewed, periodically, particularly when your circumstances change, e.g. if you marry, have children or divorce. To revise the contents of a will, an addendum known as a codicil can be added; alternatively, the will can be rewritten completely, making it clear that all previous wills have been revoked.
Society of Will Writers
Address: Eagle House, Exchange Road, Lincoln, LN6 3JZ Tel. 01522 68 78 88 Visit website.