5 Things You May Not Know About Wills


With a huge number of adults in the UK not having written a Will yet, we take a look at some key pieces of information around Wills that you may not know…

Over a half of Britons do not have a Will, and whether this is because people are putting it off, or not realising the implications of not having one, it is advisable to have one in place at the earliest opportunity. In 2015, £1 billion was left ownerless as a result of people not having a Will, which highlights the importance of having a Will in place as soon as possible. Before you do create your Will though, there are some key pieces of information that you may not be aware of.

Unmarried partners may not benefit if there is no Will

Your estate may not automatically transfer to your partner if you are not married. This is important if you have minor children, or you have been in a prior long-term relationship or previous marriage where the relationship is not good. A Will is legally binding and enables you to clearly state your wishes.

Depending on where you are in the UK, the rules will differ

England, Wales, N. Ireland and Scotland all have slight differences in their rulings on things like dying intestate, so be sure to check the differences when writing your Will. We have more on the Will differences in different countries here.

Review and edit your Will regularly

Circumstances change often, even if you don’t realise. If you review your Will regularly, you may notice things that you have included that are no longer relevant, or need to be edited. Make sure your chosen executors are happy to act in that capacity, and that they know where the Will is kept.

You may be taxed differently

Making a Will can mean a different inheritance tax (IHT) treatment of your estate or a change in the way that assets are assessed for means tests purposes should you need long term care.

You do not have to be old to make a Will

Everyone aged 18 or over (or age 12 in Scotland) can make a Will if they are of sound mind. If you are serving in the armed forces and below the age of 18 you should take legal advice, as you may be entitled to make one too. People who are deemed not to be of sound mind can also make a Will or a codicil to an existing Will, if approved by the court of protection. Be sure to take advice if this is applicable to you.

We have more FAQs on Wills over on our Wills service page. You can also get in touch if you would like us to help you and provide advice on creating your own Will.