5 Reasons Why People Put off Making Their Will
Our clients understand that making a Will and keeping it up to date will bring them peace of mind – ensuring that those closest to them will be provided for. Yet still putting off making a will is an easy temptation. Many people decide it can wait until after an important life event – marriage, children, retirement – or even until they are less busy at work! None of these are good reasons to delay writing your will; an up-to-date Will used as a stopgap is entirely better than having none at all, or one that is out-of-date.
So, why do people delay or avoid the process?
1. “I don’t need a Will because my wife/husband/civil partner will inherit everything anyway.”
Your spouse will not inherit everything unless your estate is worth less than £250,000. Assets over that value will be divided equally between your spouse and children.
If you have no children but do have surviving parents, siblings, nephews or nieces, your spouse would receive your estate up to the value of £450,000, but only half of any value in excess of that. If your spouse is to receive more than this a Will is needed.
2. “My will is getting fairly old now, but my family circumstances haven’t changed much, so it will do for the time being.”
Wills can be outdated not just by family circumstances, but also due to changes in tax law. Recent years have seen major changes to taxes affecting inheritances on death. What was once a tax opportunity may now be a pitfall. If you were to lose capacity you could be stuck with a Will that is inappropriate to your family circumstances both now and in future.
3. “I can’t decide who to appoint as guardians for my children – updating my will must wait until I can.”
Deciding who would be the guardians of young children is one of the most difficult decisions parents have to make. Thankfully, it usually proves to be unnecessary. Even if you can’t make a decision on guardianship, a will that merely sorts out your finances is a great start and will be much better than nothing. Guardians can be appointed later in a separate document if necessary.
4. “My son/daughter’s marriage is strained at the moment- I want to put off making any financial decisions until I know what is going on.”
If there is any possibility of your children divorcing it is particularly important to ensure you draw up a new will. A well written Will can ensure sure that your child’s inheritance would not be regarded as an asset to be divided between the parties in case of divorce.
5. “I know my will is a bit out of date, but I needn’t worry about changing it now – my family could alter it if needed with a deed of variation”
Deeds of variation can be invaluable as ‘first aid’ after death, in some situations allowing the will to be adapted in a way that makes more sense when circumstances change. However, structures created by deeds of variation may not be as tax efficient as those created in the Will itself.
If you would like to write or amend your Will or have any other queries regarding your estate contact Rosalind Watchorn Solicitors today to discuss your situation with a member of our specialist will-drafting and later-life planning team. Telephone 0114 229 0160 to arrange a free initial appointment with one of our solicitors.