Why should I write a will?

Aug. 21, 2018, 12:57 p.m.

Did you know a whopping 60% of adults in the UK haven’t made out a will? That’s a lot of property, finances and social media accounts and even cryptocurrency left without a beneficiary! So, why should you write a will in the first place? Surely it’s common sense that everything will be left to your partner and children?

I’ll make a will later

On average, an individual expects to leave £227,000 in property and £74,000 in cash savings by the time they die. Just over 26% of people aged 35-54 say they plan to make a will later in life...but what if the unthinkable happens tomorrow? No one can know for sure when you’ll pass away. A will is just a way to make sure you’re prepared...and that your finances, assets and other personal information go to the right people.

I don’t have anything to leave in my will

We’ll start with the big one. If you have children, even if you don’t have any money or other assets, then you definitely need a will. A will lets you appoint a Guardian for your children if there is no surviving parent. If you have children and you don’t leave a will then the courts will decide who your children go to - so it might be someone who wouldn’t have been your first choice.

Some employers will pay out a ‘death in service’ benefit to a person of your choice. This is usually between two and four times your yearly salary. It’s crucial to name this person in your will so they receive the money.

A will can also cover personal possessions such as antiques and items of sentimental value such as photo albums. If you want to leave a certain item to a specific person, then a will is a fantastic way to ensure they get it!

The chances are, you have a social media account or two. Many of these channels already offer the option to pick someone to manage your social media accounts when you die. For example, Facebook’s Legacy Contact allows you to choose a friend or family member to run your account after you pass. They can memorialize your profile so people can post memories and condolences on your wall.

Who inherits if I don’t have a will?

If you don’t have a will this is called dying intestate. This means either your married or civil partner, and in some cases close relatives, can inherit your property, lump sums and any other assets. Children will only inherit under the rules of intestacy if there is no surviving married or civil partner. So if you’re planning to leave something to your children as well, then it’s essential you make a will.

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