You are here: Home - Household Bills - Understanding -

Why common excuses for not having a will don’t cut the mustard

Written by: Shona Lowe
There are a host of reasons to put off making a will, but if you want your money to be passed on to the right people and places, you shouldn't delay.

Earlier this month, the Office for National Statistics revealed the wealth of UK households is a staggering £14.6trn.

Increasing house prices and more people saving into private pensions makes up a significant proportion of this but what happens when people want to pass this wealth on?

It is widely reported that around half of adults don’t have a will in place so with an average household wealth of £286,600, people could see their money not ending up where they want it to.

Here are some of the most common excuses for not having a will that we’ve heard and why they don’t stand up.

I’m too young

You’re never too young to take control of what will happen in the future. Even if you don’t own a property and have no money in the bank, you do have things to leave.  Digital assets such as the photos on your phone or your social media accounts have value and not only sentimental value. Making a will allows you to say who takes control and inherits your digital and other possessions as you build them up.

I’m single

Whether it’s a sibling, a parent, a godchild, a friend or a charity, we all have people or causes we care about. A will allows you to clearly state who you want your estate to go to and means your estate won’t pass under the intestacy rules, which may bear little or no resemblance to what you would have wanted to happen.

My partner and I have lived together for years, so everything will automatically pass to them

Even if you and your partner have lived together for years, without a will they have no entitlement to your estate., They’ll have to go to court and make a claim instead.

I’m married so I don’t need a will for my spouse/civil partner to inherit

The value of your estate and whether you have children can affect how wealth passes to spouses/civil partners so don’t take the chance – if you want your spouse or civil partner to inherit, say so.

I’ve got a young family and don’t have time

Life can be hectic but making a will is crucial to ensure that your children are properly supported if you were to die before they reach 18 (16 in Scotland). Not only does a will allow you to appoint guardians and makes sure that social services or the family courts won’t be left deciding what’s best for your children, it also allows you to say when and how you would like them to inherit their share of your estate.

I’m separated

While you may have separated your physical assets and no longer live together, estranged spouses can still have an entitlement to part of your estate. If you made a will previously but have not updated it to reflect your new circumstances, there’s a risk that your ex may be able to make a claim on your estate. And even if you’ve got divorced, if you live in Scotland, that doesn’t invalidate your will so you have to make a new one to override it.

A will gives you the peace of mind that you will pass on as much as possible to the people and causes you care about so we believe that everyone should have one in place. And it’s often best to speak to a professional who can advise you based on your needs both now and in the future.

Shona Lowe is private client and corporate director at financial planning firm 1825


There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Autumn Statement: Everything you need to know at a glance

Yesterday Chancellor Jeremy Hunt made his first fiscal statement in the role, outlining a range of tax measure...

End of Help to Buy: 10 alternatives for first-time buyers

The deadline for Help to Buy Equity Loan applications passed on 31 October. If you’re a first-time buyer who...

Moving to an energy prepayment meter: Everything you need to know

As households struggle with the soaring cost of energy, tens of thousands of billpayers are expected to move o...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week