Further our last article on powers of attorney we have continued with another staple of later life planning – Wills.
Arguably knowledge that it is very important to having an up to date, valid will (irrespective of age!) is much more widespread than the importance of having valid powers of attorney.
Having said that, 1 in 3 people who die do so without having a will in place (intestate) and over 31 million adults in the UK are currently at risk of dying without a valid will in place.
We know that considering what happens after we’ve gone isn’t the most enjoyable thing in the world however dying intestate complicates further what is already an incredibly difficult time for family and loved ones.
Writing a will ensures your estate is passed on exactly how you want it to be, with each beneficiary receiving what you want them to. The absence of a valid will means that your estate is dealt with under the ‘rules of intestacy’ – and that your estate may well pass on in a way contrary to your wishes.
A study by unbiased revealed that 11% were put off writing a will due to the costs involved, however we know it can cost far more for families and loved ones to deal with an estate where there is no valid will in place.
The study also found that just 28% of 35-54 year olds have a will in place. This is the age group that is most likely to have financial dependants, as well as significant financial commitments such as a mortgage.
A far more alarming reason for not making a will though was those planning to make one ‘later’ in life – 26% of respondents.
Unfortunately in our profession we have come to realise though experience that you cannot “pick” the best time to make a will and that, to steal a song lyric “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”.
We know that life is full of unknowns and writing a will doesn’t change those. It doesn’t make something more or less likely to happen. It just means that if it does then things go where you would like them to go, and those left behind have one less thing to deal with at an already difficult time.
Here at Eldon Financial Planning, we would encourage everyone to regularly review their wills and ensure they are up to date.