I don’t need a will, do I?
Many of us put off making a will, often because we think we don’t need one or we just don’t prioritise it, and other things get in the way. However, without a will, you run the risk of other people or the state making decisions about your estate and potentially about your family and kid’s lives. A will is essential for everyone, no matter what your wealth status – and here’s why.
No will, no say
The risk of not writing a will is that the law, not you, will decide what happens to your possessions and assets.
But I don’t own anything
Really? Nothing? If you are employed, then you probably have a pension and may even have a death in service benefit. These can be significant sums of money that could make up part of your estate.
Have you got savings, like an ISA? Or possible investments, such as share saving schemes offered by your employer?
Got a car? Doesn’t matter how much it’s worth, who would you like to receive it when you die? Could it be of benefit to your housemate, neighbour or cousin who can’t afford a vehicle?
Are you a collector? What do you wish to happen to any collections you may have? If they are of significance, would you like them to go to an official body, such as a museum? Are you happy for the items to be sold or remain in the family? Perhaps you want your prized possessions to go to a fellow enthusiast rather than family members.
Size doesn’t matter
Regardless of whether you have £200 or £20,000 in your bank account, you should include what happens to this money and other possessions in a will, so you can be sure that your wishes are carried out after you’re gone.
If you do not have a will, this could potentially mean that a significant romantic partner in your life may not be entitled to anything, even if you may have wanted them to receive specific funds or items you own.
If your family disapprove of your lifestyle, this could cause even more issues on your passing when there is no will to state your intentions.
Have a say in your child’s life
If you have children, then a will can be used to state how you would like them to be provided for. This doesn’t just cover the money you may want them to inherit or benefit from, but you could specify who takes care of them, where you want them to live or the type of education you would prefer them to receive.
Without a will, other people will make those critical decisions for your child and may not be aware of the aspirations you had for them.
Have children with a previous partner? If you are married and haven’t got a will, then your assets could pass to your current spouse. When they die, those assets would potentially go to their beneficiaries – meaning your children may not receive anything from your estate if there is no will in place stating otherwise.
Own a business?
If you are self-employed and own a business, then not only should you be considering a personal will but also a business will. This is a formal agreement that puts in place what will happen to your share of the business and liabilities should you die or become critically ill.
Without a will, business intestacy would occur, which means that decisions will be made about your business in line with current regulations that may not reflect what you would have wanted to happen. Find out more about business wills here.
You may have plans for any assets you own to benefit a good cause or charity. Without a will, this is unlikely to happen if your family are completely unaware of your thoughts.
You could also potentially reduce your Inheritance Tax liability by leaving a percentage of your estate to a registered charity – find out more about how this works in our blog post, Making A Will To Raise Money For Charity.
I’m only young!
The right age to make a will is the age you are now; you are never too young! Creating a will that outlines your wishes should you die is one of the most important things you can do in life. As soon as you own anything, regardless of value, or have dependents, you should consider making a will stating what would happen to your estate.
Keeping your will up to date
If you do already have a will, it is critical to ensure it is up to date. If you get divorced, married or have a child, these events can all have significant repercussions for your will. Ensure that it is kept current and reflects your wishes today, not 10 years ago!
Making a will can give you peace of mind that your loved ones will be looked after should the unexpected happen. If you need advice on estate planning and the best way to deal with your assets in the event of your own death, then consider working with a Life Centred Financial Planner. They specialise in estate planning, inheritance tax and life centred financial planning to ensure that you make the best decisions for you and your family with the resources you have available – contact us today for a complimentary 30 minute consultation to see how we can help you create a brighter future for your dependents.
If you found this information useful, you may also want to check out the following:
- Do you need a business will?
- Would your business survive the loss of a key person?
- Protection planning for the self-employed
MRA help individuals, businesses and families achieve the best quality of life they can with the resources they have. MRA specialise in corporate solutions, cash-flow analysis, life centred planning and much more.
Business Consultants based in East Sussex we service clients across the South East, Sussex and Kent, including smaller towns such as Ashford, Battle, Bexhill, Bodiam, Brighton & Hove, Cranbrook, Crowborough, Eastbourne, Hailsham, Hastings, Heathfield, Herstmonceux, Lewes, Mayfield, Newhaven, Rye, Seaford, Sevenoaks, Tenterden, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells.