Three out of five people in the UK do not have a will in place to set out what happens to their affairs, dependents and assets once they pass, so legal experts are outlining the main reasons why it’s important to organise a will to ensure wishes are honoured.
In the absence of a will, the state will manage all important decisions in relation to your affairs, employing the strict rules of intestacy and taking arrangements away from loved ones – so it’s worthwhile having a will in place if you wish for your plans to be respected down to the last detail.
The wills and probate experts at JMP Solicitors have shared three important reasons to organise a will, whether it’s for personal or business reasons, to outline exactly what you would like to happen to affairs and assets following an unfortunate passing, to ensure that dependents are honoured and looked after.
Andrea Bingham, head of the wills, trusts and probate department at JMP Solicitors says: “The process of sorting a will is relatively straight forward and cost-effective and organising one to safeguard your family for the future, should the worst happen, is important.
“Many people are put off organising a will, as they often feel that they are too young and healthy to have one, or, they falsely believe that friends and family will have the power to decide between them who should inherit what, but that simply isn’t the case – so we have compiled three main reasons why it’s vital to sort a will.
1. Wills aren’t expensive and complicated
The process of sorting a will from start to finish is relatively straightforward and easy, and a specialist lawyer will guide you through the entire proceedings, including financial advice options. Once you get in contact with a reputable lawyer, everything will be taken care of for you and you will be advised every step of the way, until a will is finalised.
2. The future is unpredictable
Even if you are healthy at present, you can never be sure when the unthinkable may happen, so to ensure your state of affairs is exactly how you wish to pass it on, it makes perfect sense to have a will in place as soon as possible. A will is always specific to an individual, never general and it covers all funeral wishes. If you have dependents, it appoints people you trust (guardians) to care for any children under the age of 18.
3. If left to chance your wishes may not be honoured
Under the rules of intestacy – when there is no valid will in place, then the law will decide who will inherit your assets, so there is no sense in leaving it to chance. Rules of intestacy are strict and do not acknowledge unmarried partners or step-children – so, unfortunately, many loved ones are not entitled to inherit anything if there is no will to stipulate arrangements, and where there has been a second marriage, your children from your first relationship may not automatically inherit. Setting up a will can help preserve wealth for future generations with the creation of trusts, as well as protecting against residential care costs and providing for vulnerable or disabled relatives.