How to make a will: Spike in Will writing
The number of expats making financial plans in case of accident, illness or death saw a huge increase in the last 2 years. The biggest increase was among under-40s. Will writing services are a huge part of financial planning.
Almost three times as many people wrote their wills compared to 2019 – as many are reflecting more on our mortality since the pandemic began.
Death is difficult to think about, but it’s really sensible to be planning for the future as it helps your family and loved ones down the line.
Making a will?
If you want control over what happens to your wealth and possessions when you die, you will need to make a will.
Having a will gives you control over what happens to your money, possessions and property after you die – and it is the only certain way to ensure that your spouse, partner or relative inherits what you intend them to.
If you care about saving your family both time and money, as well as potential arguments after you pass away, then writing a will would be wise. Regardless of your circumstances, Will writing services do not need to be costly or complex.
A will makes things much easier for your loved ones as it helps to avoid arguments, and if your family knows what and where your assets are, it saves them time and money at a time when they are wanting to grieve rather than worry about sorting out admin or getting funeral affairs in order.
Writing a will might also be sensible if your estate would be subject to inheritance tax.
In the UK anyone can pass on £325,000 of cash and assets tax-free, but if you give away your home to your children (including adopted or foster children or grandchildren) then this threshold can increase to £500,000.
So for a married couple with children, it is possible to pass on £1 million in total.
One of the main reasons you should write a will is to protect your wealth for your chosen beneficiaries and to ensure the people you wish to benefit do so in the most tax-efficient manner.
How do my relatives find out about my will after I die?
Having made a will, a sensible thing to do is tell a close friend or family member about where it can be found.
You should always tell someone you trust where your Will is stored while you’re still alive, as not doing so can make things difficult for your family and may even mean that they’re never able to find it.
Some people like to give their executors or family members photocopies of the will or at least share the details of the person providing the Will writing services.
Risks of not making a will?
If you die before making a will, any assets that can be found will be divided up following the rules of intestacy.
These are a set of traditional laws that define exactly who gets what. However, these laws may not divide your estate up exactly how you would have liked – particularly if you want to leave money or assets to people outside of your immediate family.
Step-children and unmarried partners may be overlooked; your partner may be left homeless; your children may be left with no legal guardian, or your money may even go to the Government.
Having your estate divided in this way could also lead to court applications and disputes, especially when there are children involved.
Having children under 18, for example, can cause complications and litigation.
If you are married, and one of you dies without a will, your partner will inherit your personal belongings up to £270,000 but only 50 per cent of the remainder, meaning the children receive the other 50 per cent at the age of 18 – which could be an issue.
Failing to make a will may just mean your loved ones will ultimately lose out.
It can cost families thousands of pounds when a loved one dies without a will, often due to assets they can’t find or don’t know exist.