There is a common misconception in the general public that ‘only old people need Wills’.
In fact – due to the way that the law has not really kept track with the modern world, all too often ‘younger people’ need a Will more than ‘older people’. Although, in fairness, we would actively encourage everyone at all stages of their lives to have a Will in place and to review it regularly to keep it up to date.
To give a few examples – couples living together but not married. There is no such thing as a ‘common law husband/wife’. If you are a couple living together, but not married, who have assets that you want to pass to each other, the ONLY way that you can make this happen is if you have a Will. If you do not, the law decides under what is referred to as the Intestacy Rules. These make no recognition of co-habitees or couples – only married couples (or those in a same sex relationship who have entered into a formal civil partnership). So even if you had lived together with your partner for years, if you do not have a Will your assets would not pass to them. They could instead go to your parents, or your brothers and sisters, depending upon your family tree.
Matters can be even more complicated if you are an unmarried couple with children. Under the Intestacy Rules if one person dies in that situation the person who inherits would almost certainly be the children. NOT the partner! So you could suddenly find your young child owning the assets of your late partner, and the only way that you can do anything about that is to actually go to court and try to get this overruled by a court order! This costs thousands, and takes a very long time, and means you are going to court to ‘sue’ for assets off your own child. Most unpleasant and avoidable simply by making a Will.
Single person living alone? If you do not have a Will the intestacy rules dictate where your assets go. It may be your parents. Or it may be your brother or sister. Even though you might not get on with them. This illustrates another major reason to make a Will – it is not just about saying who DOES inherit, but also about making it clear who DOES NOT! Inheritance is a gift, and it is therefore up to you to decide who you make that gift to. The only way to exercise that power is to make a Will, and review it regularly.
These are just a few examples to hopefully illustrate why Wills are not just something for “old people”. Everyone should have a Will in place, because it is very rare these days that peoples lives are straight forward.
We could literally write books full of examples about why people should make Wills, but it is best that we meet with you, face to face, so that you can tell us your circumstances (no matter how complicated!) and we can discuss what you hope to achieve and write the best Will for you.
We know that times are hard for people financially, and we know that it is not nice to talk about what might happen if we die, so it is easy to put it off. But it’s easier to talk about it now, and make plans in a well drafted Will, than it is for those left behind if you die and they have to try to sort everything out. Yes, it costs money, but it is crazy that people will spend thousands on a new car, or a big TV, yet will not spend a few hundred pounds to put a well drafted Will in place which will ensure that if they were to die their loved ones will get what they have worked hard to buy (and also to make sure their ‘unloved ones’ do not!).
So whether you are young, old, single, married (be it once, twice or several times!), living with someone, or any other of the almost infinite possibilities that you might find yourself – come to see us and make a Will. It makes sense, and it needs doing.
Have we convinced you yet? If so contact us now to book an appointment.