Updated: Jul 17, 2020
Wills aren’t just for “old people.” Nobody knows what is around the corner and having a Will in place can make things much easier for your family at an already difficult time. If you fall into one of the below categories then should think about making a Will:
1. You have children
Statistics show that more than half of British parents (59%) do not have a Will or they have one that is outdated. This is a worrying indicator as having a baby is a critical point event Wills should be updated. Why? Well, there are two key reasons:
A Will ensures that your children are taken care of financially if you are no longer here to support them as they grow up. This especially applies to stepchildren, who are currently not accounted for in the Laws of Intestacy. Unless a stepchild has been formally adopted by you, they will not automatically benefit financially from your estate unless they are included in your Will.
A Will provides you with an opportunity to express who should become your children's guardian in the event their other parent is already deceased or your children lose both parents at the same time. Without including this in your Will, the courts will decide who will be appointed as guardian, which could be someone your children are not familiar with or a member of the family who you would not have appointed if you had the choice.
Updating your Will whenever a new grandchild is added to the family will ensure no one is left out is equally as important.
2. You are Married
Did you know that if you have a Will then you get married then your previous Will is automatically cancelled?
Did you also know that your spouse is not automatically entitled to inherit the whole of your estate is you pass away without a Will? You can see how things would be distributed if you do not have a Will here.
Additionally, if you want anyone other than your spouse to receive any of your assets, you would need to include that in your Will.
3. You own a property
For most of us buying our home is the largest purchase we will make in our lifetime. Because of this, it has the potential to significantly increase our own net worth or that of your beneficiaries, so choosing who this asset should be passed to is not a decision to be taken lightly.
If you own a property solely and pass away without a Will, your property will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy, which isn't always the way you want it to go.
If you own property jointly, it will be as either joint tenants or tenants in common. If the property is owned as joint tenants, your share automatically pass