If you don’t have an up to date will, October is Free Wills Month in the UK, which is a great opportunity to get one arranged.
It is estimated that anything up to 60% of UK individuals don’t have a valid last will and testament. Many people assume that if they are married or have dependents, their estate will be automatically distributed among them if they die without a will.
This isn’t necessarily the case, and yet getting a will written can be very straightforward and affordable – especially in October of course, thanks to Free Wills Month.
Around 60,000 people a year die ‘intestate’ (without a valid will in place) and the problem is continually getting worse, as many younger people fail to make one.
The reasons to make a will include:
- You can choose exactly how your money and assets will be distributed. Once you start to make one, you might start to realise that your estate is more complex than you thought.
- You can choose your own executors. If you die intestate your relatives might have to go through a legal process to become executors, but a will means they don’t have to do this.
- You can plan the future of your children. As well as financial matters, a will can be used to appoint guardians for your children until they reach adult age.
- You can make specific bequests to individuals. If for example you have specific items of high value or sentimental value, these can specifically be listed in the will to give clarity.
- If you have remarried, your estate can be complicated, and a valid will helps simplify and clarify everything.
If you don’t make a will, the consequences can include:
- Family disputes can arise, which could mean that your estate ends up in the wrong hands.
- Unmarried partners might receive nothing or have to go through complicated legal processes.
- Your family might have a larger inheritance tax bill than is necessary.
So, if you have been putting off the process of preparing a valid will, Free Wills Month is your opportunity to put this right. You can find a participating solicitor in your area on the Free Wills Month website.