Law & Legal & Attorney Wills & trusts

Who Needs to Make a Will Nowadays?

Here are the top ten reasons people sometimes give for not making a proper Will.
1 "I've got nothing to leave, and no-one to leave it to" Really? Hardly anyone has absolutely nothing.
Most of us have some possessions plus a bit in the bank.
Some of us own our own home.
And nearly all of us turn out to have distant cousins in Canada we barely knew existed.
2 "My family knows what I want" But did you tell everybody the same thing? And will their versions tally after you're no longer around to act as referee? There's no substitute for writing it down.
3 "It will all go to the wife" Not if she dies first.
And even if she survives, what she gets depends on how much is in your own name, and what other relatives there are.
If you have children or grandchildren, a surviving spouse gets the first £250,000 and the income from half the excess.
More with no children but certain other relatives.
The amount varies from case to case, and might be just what you want.
Or not.
4 "After seven years together, won't my "common law" get it?" No.
Common law marriages were abolished back in 1753.
Live-in partners have no special status under English law at the present time.
5 "I really like paying tax" Thanks, because someone's got to.
But you're a bit unusual.
Most people want the government to get as little as possible.
Seek advice and write your Will accordingly.
6 "I'm not planning to die for ages yet" Fortunately we don't know our "death-day" in advance, but one day it will come, sure as eggs.
There is no scientific proof yet that making a Will has ever shortened anyone's life.
There is evidence that it gives people peace of mind.
7 "They can do what they like with my body when I'm gone" Most funerals are sad, and rightly so.
But some are a real nightmare.
Domineering relatives take charge and impose their strange views.
So take responsibility, think ahead, and record your wishes now.
While you can.
8 "No-one will want anything to remember me by" If anyone ever tries to suggest that never in human history has there been a single dispute between relatives over who gets the furniture or the tea-set or the grandfather clock, don't believe them.
9 "I'll save money by writing my own Will" False economy if you don't get it witnessed properly, or use the wrong wording, or the Will mysteriously "disappears".
Not only might your wishes be frustrated, but you'll cost your heirs far more than a proper, solicitor-drawn Will would have cost.
And do beware of unqualified, inexperienced "will-writing" firms.
10 "It's my last chance to get even" If there's a rift in the family, it's kinder and healthier to repair the broken relationship than cutting the prodigal out of your Will.
A Will should be a blessing, not a curse.
But hey, some people really enjoy resentment.
There are many more sensible reasons for making a Will.

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