If you have not made a will you are not alone. Fifty percent of UK adults have not made a will. Here are the five most common reasons why.
1) I don't need one
It is easy to think that your family will take care of everything and that they will carry out your wishes once you are gone. However, without a will, your assets will be governed by the laws of intestacy as laid out by the UK government. This means that your loved ones will be powerless to act on your behalf should you wish to distribute your assets differently or make specific bequests.
2) My spouse will get everything
If your assets total less than £250,000 your spouse (married / civil partner) will receive the full estate plus fifty percent of the of the balance over £250,000. The rest will be distributed evenly among children and direct descendants. If there are no children but there are other surviving family members, the spouse will receive the first £450,000, followed by fifty percent of the balance. Either way, if you want full control over who inherits what and how much, you need to make a will.
3) My partner will get everything
If you are not married or in a civil partnership, no matter how long you have been together, your partner will have no automatic rights to your assets. This will mean, apart from assets held in both names, your partner will receive nothing at all. It is only through making a will that your partner will be protected and your wishes carried out.
4) I don't have anything to leave
Most of us are fortunate enough to have something, be that savings (however small), a regular income, belongings and treasured items. Without a will your assets and belongings will be governed by the laws of intestacy and not necessarily remain in the control of those you would wish. In the UK, anyone over the age of 18 can make a will and it is wise to do so, however small you deem your estate to be.
5) I don't want to talk about it
For many talking about death is extremely uncomfortable and can make our eventual demise feel uncomfortably real and present. Even so, taking responsibility for your estate, making your wishes clear and keeping your will up to date should your circumstances change, will save your family and friends a great deal trouble and stress at a difficult time.