Individuals can be put off making a Will for all manner of reasons. Maybe the cost is too high or the process seems too complicated. Or perhaps many just delay in writing one, planning on sorting it out at a later date. All of these are common explanations and recent statistics suggest that only three out of 10 people in the UK have arranged their affairs for when after they die. But a making a Will is a vital tool in ensuring that your loved ones are protected financially after you pass on and means your estate is administered and distributed the way you had planned.
When an individual dies without making a Will they are considered to have died intestate. In this situation, intestacy laws apply and the estate is automatically distributed to the deceased’s closest relatives. This is particularly problematic for unmarried couples who are not recognised under intestacy rules. In addition, if there are no relatives that can be traced to the deceased, the entirety of their possessions will eventually go to the Crown. In 2011, the Treasury gained £53m from individuals who died intestate. The year before that was £76m.
The benefits of getting a Will however are not purely financial. Another important advantage is the ability to appoint relatives or close friends to look after and manage your affairs after you pass on. You can, for example, appoint a close relative or friend to be guardian of your children to ensure that they are properly looked after. Moreover, by making a Will, you can decide who will be responsible for administering your affairs after your death and who will be responsible for making sure your wishes are carried out. Failure to do so beforehand can result in the Court appointing individuals on your behalf instead. Making a Will therefore not only protects your loved ones, but also provides that peace of mind knowing that your affairs will be handled the way you fundamentally intended.
At Seatons, our team of highly trained solicitors have a wealth of experience dealing with Wills and provide clear, easy to understand legal advice at low sensible fees. For more information, feel free to give us a call on 01536 276300.