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The importance of making a Will

In today’s ageing population it is growing increasingly important for people to make sure they have created a Will before they die.

According to the Office of National Statistics improvements in healthcare and lifestyles mean the population is getting older.  In 2016 18% of people in the UK were over 65 years of age, and 2.4% were over 85 years of age.

Due to the rising age of the population more and more people need to be thinking about making a Will.  It is an inevitable fact that a Will is a crucial document for the people left to sort out the assets of the deceased.

Citizens Advice says that the number of enquiries regarding people who have died without making a Will has more than doubled over the past five years and scarily a ‘YouGov’ survey revealed only 38% of the public in England and Wales held a Will.

But really, why is it so important to have a Will in place?

It provides you with peace of mind
The biggest reason to make a Will is to ensure that your wishes are fulfilled when you die.  Without a Will everything you own will be shared out in a standard way defined by the law, regardless of what your preference was or what you would have liked to have happened.  By making a Will you choose who gets what.  Whatever your wishes are, they will be followed if they are written down in a Will.

Easing the burden for your loved ones
Unfortunately, losing a loved one is sad and often traumatic.  However, such a time is made much worse if your family have the added stress of trying to sort your assets where there is no Will in place.  Not only is this stressful but also time consuming and can end up causing disruption in families if they can’t agree.

Appoint the best person to be your executor
If there is no Will in place, there is no appointed person to deal with your estate and financial affairs.  This may result in a dispute about who acts as the administrator.  The role of an executor includes finding the assets, paying debts, paying taxes and distributing what is left.  This job should be allocated to someone who you know will act on your behalf (as those who may be appointed if there is no Will in place can refuse); it should also be someone who is organised, responsible and trustworthy.  Ensuring this avoids disputes and the possibility of court involvement.

Choose your own trustees
As the name suggests, a trustee needs to be someone you trust.  Without a Will, any of your property that needs to go into a trust may be left in the hands of someone you wouldn’t want to be involved in your estate or financial affairs.

Make arrangements for your children
Without a Will the court will decide who will look after your children.  To protect those you love the most, you can demonstrate clearly in your Will who you want to look after your children should the worst happen.

There are many more reasons why you should have a Will in place.  The most important thing is to act now – do not leave it until it is too late.

Our qualified Will Writer, Trudi Dickinson, will meet with you to review  or update your position.  Please call Trudi on 01228 711881 to arrange an appointment.

Posted: October 5th, 2017

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