Rogers & Norton News

New Year’s Resolution – Make a Will

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

According to a recent article in Moneywise, most UK adults risk dying intestate.

Almost nine out of ten people aged 20-29 have no Will in place according to research by the financial adviser comparison site unbiased.co.uk. and nearly two-thirds of 40-49 year olds and 60 percent of 50-59 year olds have not made a Will. Should they die now they would die intestate.

This means that they would not have a say in what happens to their estate. The “Rules of Instestacy” will divide their estate according to pre-determined rules which will not take into consideration any wishes they may have had.  It also may not be dealt with in the most tax-efficient way.

How likely you are to have a Will in place also seems to depend on where you live. In Brighton for example, 70 percent of respondents said they have no Will. In contrast, only 55 percent of Glaswegians said they had not made a Will.

The most common reason for not having a Will is that people are putting it off until they are older and this includes about one in seven people in their sixties. Meanwhile, 17 percent say they have too few assets to make a Will necessary.

Karen Barrett, CEO of unbiased.co.uk says that “Our research made two especially interesting findings, which are rather at odds with each other. We confirmed that people really do want to ensure their loved ones are taken care of after they’ve gone – but that most aren’t doing anything about this.”

Everyone should have a Will. We spend our lives looking after loved ones and by making a Will it ensures that when you die your estate is distributed according to your wishes whatever the size of your estate. Should you not have children it is equally important to make a Will so that the people or charities you care about inherit.

The advice from the Law Society is that trying to make your own Will without legal assistance can lead to mistakes or lack of clarity and could mean that your Will is invalid. You should consider:

  • who should carry out the wishes in your Will (your executor/s)
  •  any gifts or other special wishes such as burial/cremation
  •  who should look after your children (if you have any)
  •  who you would like to leave the remaining estate to and what happens if any of your beneficiaries die before you do.

 

If you have long-term residential or business connections outside England and Wales this may have tax and administration implications and you will need legal advice as to how it could affect your Will.

Once you have written your Will you should review it at regular intervals to make sure that it still reflects your wishes.  This is especially important if you:

  • Get married/enter into a civil partnership as your Will is automatically cancelled by these events
  • Get divorced
  • Have children or other relatives you wish to benefit such as nieces, nephews or grandchildren
  • Have bought a new house or acquired other assets

 

If you would like to discuss making a Will, or changes to an existing Will, please contact Wenke Lie-Critchley on 01953 458162 or email wlc@rogers-norton.co.uk.