Importance of Making a Will
05 May, 2016
Following Prince’s unexpected death from unknown causes on April 21st it has emerged that the star had no known will. Whilst there is still a chance that one may be found, Prince’s lack of a will demonstrates the importance of making one even when you don’t expect to need one. Whilst many may put off making a will due to superstitions, or just because they find it morbid, it is incredibly important that you have made those provisions so that if something happened to you unexpectedly your family/friends will be provided for. Wills are not just for the rich and famous, even those with very little should have one. Without a will, your family will be left in an uncomfortable position, just as Prince’s family are currently. The process of deciding who will inherit from Prince’s estate could potentially take years, which will only leave the family in further turmoil following his unexpected death. Dying is hard enough to accept, especially the idea of dying unexpectedly, but it unfortunately does happen, and it’s best to be prepared for any eventuality.
Who will benefit if you don’t have a will?
Although Prince’s estate is of course being dealt with in the American court system, there are similar issues in the UK for inheritance when a person has not made a will. It has been estimated that more than half of the UK population have no made a will, perhaps as much as 60% of people. Although, here in the UK, the law sets out who is entitled to inherit from you if you are married, or you have immediate family (see the full breakdown of who would inherit here), there are still issues that are best to resolve by having a will. If you and your partner are not married, they will not automatically inherit your assets when you die, no matter how long you were together. If you want to make sure certain family members, friends or even charities are provided for should you die unexpectedly, it is very important to create a will. If you do not have any family, your estate will go to the crown, and for many it is preferable that their estate goes to friends or charities. Alternatively, you might have immediate family who you don’t want to benefit from your estate, and having a will allows you set this out, and prevent unintended recipients benefiting from your money.
Even for those with little money, if you have children it is also important to create a will. Without direct instructions in a will your children may end up in social care, regardless of any other family members that may be able to look after them. It is often assumed that grandparents or other close relations will gain custody, but unfortunately that is not necessarily the case, and by having a will you ensure that your children are in the right hands.
Keeping your will up to date
It is also important to make sure that you will is up to date. You may find that the executor of your will, or those who will benefit from it, are no longer the same a few years down the line, so it is important to keep on top of it. It may also be the case that your circumstances have changed and your estate is now worth more, or less, than £250,000, in which case the rules surrounding automatic inheritance would change, as can be seen in our guide.
How can you make a will or update an existing will?
If you want to make, or update, your will, then you can call our experts today on the number at the top of your screen. Alternatively you can fill out this form and request a call back at a specific time.