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Do I really need a Will?

A common misconception is that a Will is only needed if you are sick, elderly or a parent. Actually, they are applicable to every adult!

Shockingly, research by insurance company, Royal London, found:

  • 54% of adults don’t have a Will
  • Nearly 60% of parents don’t have a valid Will – either they don’t have one at all or it is out of date
  • 5.4 million people have no idea how to make a Will

One third of the respondents had experienced life events, such as getting married or having children, since their original Will was made. More than half of these people hadn’t updated their Will following these events!

So, what are the different scenarios that require me to have a Will?

Marriage

Congratulations, you got married! But did you know that any previous Will you had becomes invalid. Under marriage laws in England and Wales, your pre-existing Will is no longer valid. This means that should you die before updating your Will, you have died ‘intestate’ and the laws of intestacy will decide how your estate is distributed.

Or 

Maybe you’ve decided your 20-year marriage is over and you are looking to get divorced. Some people think they need to wait until they receive their decree absolute but, what if you were to die before this came through? Your husband/soon to be ex-husband would inherit everything.

Children

Did you know a Will is the only legal way to guarantee what happens to your child/children, if you die before they are 18? Do you really want a family court to decide who your children go to?

Blended families are a common occurrence in this day and age but unless you have a Will in place, your step-children won’t receive any of your estate because they aren’t direct blood relatives.

What if your husband or partner (who is in your Will) decides to remarry? Their new partner could potentially inherit everything you intended to leave to your children. This is where we would incorporate a Trust into your will to ensure that should this happen; your children would still get their share.

The Unexpected

We know we’ve spoken a lot about why having a Will is important if you get married or have children, but what if you don’t want to do either of those. Surely, you don’t need a Will?

Wrong. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been with your partner, the law states that unfortunately, if you’re not married, they aren’t entitled to anything when you die. The only way to ensure they get what you want is through a Will.

We hate saying it but life is too short and family and friend’s do get taken away from us too early. No one has a crystal ball and although we’d all hope to live to a ripe old age, illnesses and accidents can happen out of nowhere.

Summary

Ultimately, having a Will saves your family from the stress of having to deal with your estate when you die. If you pass away without a Will, your family may need to seek legal advice and go through additional paperwork. Surely, you don’t want them going through that whilst trying to grieve? 

There are so many more scenarios as to why you should have a Will in place but we would be writing for days and this blog would be pages long. We’ve just highlighted some of the more common reasons why. 

Maybe you are ahead of the game and your Will is in place but has there been a change in circumstance? It is so important that at every life event, you update your Will, this could be marriage, divorce, buying your own home or having children.

If our blog has got you thinking about making a Will or updating your existing one but you’re not sure where to start, give us a call. We always offer a FREE one-hour consultation to discuss your requirements, with no obligation to go ahead with our recommendations.

As we always say, where there’s a Will, there’s a way!

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