Do you belong to the 53% who do not have a will?

March 14, 2017

Read our article on why it is important to make a will. Recent statistics on will writing show that 53% of the UK adult population have not made a will. The majority of those, who don’t have a will say that they simply didn’t get round to it. If you are one of these people you may want to contact us now as there are many good reasons why you should make a will.

Avoid injustice:
If you die intestate (without leaving a properly executed will) the law provides standard directions on how your estate will be inherited by your immediate blood relatives. Any friends or a partner who is not a spouse (married to you or in a civil partnership) will not be entitled to receive anything. 
Provide for the future of your children or other people, who are dependent on you:
Did you know that 31% of those parents with a Will have not named guardians for their children? A guardian should be a person you can trust to make the right decisions about your children’s care, education and financial needs. It’s always better to discuss your options with suitable relatives or friends now rather then leaving it to chance.

Save tax
A will can deal with your assets and finances in a way, which may reduce the amount of inheritance tax your family will need to pay on your assets.

Ease the burden on your family
A will speeds up probate procedures, making it easier for your family or close friends to deal with the administration of your estate during an already distressing time for them. 
If you already have a will but have not reviewed it in the last three years make sure that it still reflects your wishes in particular if your circumstances have changed since you last made your will.
 
And while you are planning for your future, why not also sort out your lasting power of attorney (LPA) at the same time as making your will?

A lasting power of attorney will give somebody you trust power to deal with your health and welfare or property and financial affairs should you become incapable of unwilling deal with these issues yourself.
 
In your LPA, you can include guidelines on decisions your attorneys may need to make on your behalf or give instructions on decisions they must make to fulfil your wishes. These can be wide ranging from wishing to live in your own home until your GP instructs otherwise to dietary requirements or receiving life-sustaining treatment to provisions on financial affairs, e.g. regularly providing account statements to other trusted persons as a safeguarding measure.
 
An LPA is very different from a will as it will safeguard your interests while you are alive. In particular, it must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian to be valid and cannot be used without your consent if you are still mentally capable of doing everything yourself.
 
If you would like to talk to us about making your will and/or applying for a lasting power of attorney please contact Joanna Stephenson, Partner Joanna.stephenson@jwssllp.com or call +44 20 3701 7395.
 
Articles are for general guidance only and discuss the legal position in the UK at the time of publication unless stated otherwise. You must take legal advice and not rely on the information provided in our articles before taking action. We do not update our articles and therefore, past articles may not reflect the current legal position. Where we refer to Court decisions facts are stated as reported by the Court.