I don’t need a will do I…..?

Although making a will is one of the most important things you can do to help protect your family’s future, many people still either do not see the need to make one, or else do not prioritise it highly.

By having a will, you can be confident your wishes will be carried out after your death, and ensure that your family will have clarity over their future and avoid the expensive and distressing legal process that could result from dying intestate (without a will in place). A will can also help provide certainly around the future for a host of other matters, including any business interests you may have.

I have heard many reasons why people do not want to make a will, but the simple fact remains that having a valid, up-to-date will is one of the most important things you can do.

Some of the most common reasons for not making a will include:

“My partner will automatically get everything”

The belief that your partner will automatically get everything is simply wrong.

If you are married with children, then your husband, wife or civil partner keeps all the assets (including property) up to £250,000 and all the personal possessions, whatever their value. The remainder of the estate will be shared out, with your husband, wife or civil partner getting half of the remainder outright. The other half is then divided equally between children.

If you are unmarried or not in a civil partnership, then without going through litigation, your partner will not get anything.

 “I have nothing to leave”

Although you may not have much at present, your financial situation may well change in the future. A will covers more than just financial concerns and allows you to specify your most treasured possessions, whatever their value. It is also an essential document in setting out practical matters like arrangements for your children’s care and provision for your funeral.

“I do not have the time to make a will”

Making a will should be seen as time well spent for the benefit of your family, but the actual process of doing so probably does not take as long as many people imagine. At Sintons, we offer a range of options for flexibility, including home visits, and also operate a highly successful Wills in the Workplace initiative with a number of businesses, where employees are able to make their will in work time and in their place of work.

“It is too expensive”

A will should be seen as money well spent, since for relatively small cost, you can have the peace of mind that comes with the knowledge that your wishes will be carried out, and the certainty that your family will be safeguarded.

“I am too young to make a will”

Many people believe that wills are only for older generations – however, it is a sad fact that fatal accidents or terminal illnesses can happen at any age, so it is important to make provision for any assets or dependants once you have gone. You can make a will from the age of 18, younger if you are in the military, and it is something you should consider no matter what your age. While some people believe making a will is morbid and involves talking about the unpleasant subject of death, rather it should be seen as a positive process to make provision for your loved ones when you are no longer there to do so.

The importance of making a will, and keeping it updated to include any changes in circumstances over the years, cannot be overstated. If you have any concerns or queries preventing you from doing so, one of Sintons’ specialist private client advisors can help guide you through the process.

Sophie Robinson is a private client practitioner in the specialist wills and probate team at law firm Sintons. To speak to her about this or any other matter, contact Sophie on 0191 226 7812 or sophie.robinson@sintons.co.uk.

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