You are not alone. Research reveals that 76% of the UK population has thought about getting a Will but not actually got around to doing so. Here are five good reasons why you won’t want to be part of that majority …
One of the top reasons people procrastinate when it comes to Will writing is that they believe it is complicated and expensive as solicitors need to be involved.
Writing a Will is actually quite straight forward and you do not need to involve a solicitor, although there are reasons why you might benefit from doing so (e.g., if your estate is worth more than £325,000 your benefactors will have to pay inheritance tax when you die and a solicitor could advise you on ways to ensure your estate is taxed fairly).
Writing a Will online with Active Wills gives you the option to create your own Will using a best-practice Will template written by our SRA registered solicitors for just £99 (or £149 for two Mirror Wills – perfect for couples). It also provides you with an opportunity to get one of our expert Will-writers to check it for just £35 with a view to ensuring that you are not missing out on any opportunities to make your money go further, and that you are not leaving yourself open to others contesting your Will.
Making a Will online with our trusted will writing template takes just ten minutes, so why spend hours, days, weeks or even years procrastinating?
If you are going to procrastinate though, at least make use of the time by giving some consideration to some of the important decisions our UK online Will template guides you through.
Who will be your Executor? Your executor will be responsible for ensuring the terms of your Will are met. Who do you trust to do this? Have you considered if your choice might cause someone to contest your Will? Here’s some advice from My Money Expert on choosing your executor.
Who would make the best guardian for your children? Have you considered all of the family dynamics associated with your decision? Have you asked your children (if they are old enough to understand and not be freaked out by the question) who they would want to be their legal guardian should you die unexpectedly? Have you asked your intended guardians?
Do you want to leave anything to a charity or community organisation? Many people support charities whilst they are alive yet miss out on the easiest and most beneficial opportunity to help charitable organisations. Leaving a gift of just 1 percent of your estate can make a massive difference, but is hardly noticeable to your other beneficiaries. Such a bequest is likely to be a much greater donation that you could make while you are alive and our online Will writing template even makes it easy for you to select a charity you would like to support. It’s worth knowing too, that you are not charged inheritance tax on amounts left to charities and community-based organisations.
Will there be any other specific gifts? Your Will is a great way to show appreciation for friends and relatives, help out people in need or even just do something so remarkable that your memory is sure to live on. We’ve experienced people leaving a bequest of a favourite vehicle to a best friend, a piece of art to a former pupil and one man even left specific named items to a ‘wife’ and a ‘partner’ to ensure ‘no fighting’.
The famous are not immune for grand final gestures either. There is a rumour that John Peel left his 45rpm record collection to his local pub (which still operates a Wurlitzer). The American comedian Jack Benny left instruction for a single red rose to be delivered to his wife every day for the rest of her life and Shakespeare famously left to his wife Anne Hathaway his second best bed (just to clarify, his first went to his daughter Susanna).
How will the rest of your estate be distributed? If you are married with children, this is usually quite straightforward. But if you are married and divorced with stepchildren, e.g., it can be quite tricky. If you do not have family and do not want your estate to pass on to the Crown (which it will do if you do not write a Will) you need to give this some consideration.
Once you have thought through these questions, the actual process of writing a Will online with Active Wills takes between 10 and 30 minutes. What are you waiting for?
Death is the only certainty in this life. We all hope to shuffle off this mortal coil at a good age, surrounded by friends and family, proud of a life lived well and comfortable with the knowledge that we’ve done all we can to ensure that those we love will be safe long after we’re departed. The only element of that scenario that is under our control though, is the final part – ensuring that we’ve done all we can to ensure that those we leave behind are protected. And the only way to take control of this is to make a Will.
According to the Department of Transport 1,732 road deaths were reported in the UK in 2015. Not one of the victims would have seen that coming and, given the stat’s on people without Wills in the UK it is safe to assume that many more than one would have died intestate (without a Will) – leaving their family with unnecessary complications during a time of unbearable grief.
Just one reason not to wait until you’re dying to write a Will.
Another good reason is that if you wait until you are dying to make a Will, you open yourself up to a Will challenge on the basis that you may ‘not be thinking straight/ did not have mental capacity’. Why take such a risk?
If you die without a Will the legal system decides who inherits what using archaic intestacy rules. These rules were not designed with modern family dynamics in mind. Unmarried partners and stepchildren, for example, will not inherit anything from your estate if you die without a Will
Have a go at our interactive quiz to find out who will inherit what if you do die without a legal Will in place.
Imagine the tsunami of grief and trauma your family members will experience if you do die without a Will and they have to contest the courts’ decisions. Imagine the peace of mind you – and they – can enjoy now if you just spend 10 minutes completing our online Will template.
As explained in My Estate planning Expert’s blog 5 ‘Ways to Legally Protect your Family, Wealth and Wishes’ tax planning is not possible without a Will:
"Tax planning is simply not possible without a Will and pre-election uncertainty around planned Inheritance Tax changes and the Inheritance Tax threshold is not an excuse to postpone writing a Will. In fact, it makes doing so, or reviewing any existing Will you may have, even more urgent. Revisiting your Will every three years and after any significant life event (or change in law) is important. With research showing that the number of people dying without a Will has doubled over the last five years, it's probably wise to advise friends and family to write a Will too."
My Estate Planning Expert, April 2017
Tax planning makes sense if your estate is worth more than £325,000 because this is the current Inheritance Tax threshold. This means that your family will have to pay 40% tax on anything in your estate above this figure and if you have not planned to meet these costs without selling your family home, there is a chance they may end up doing just that …
As My Estate Planning Expert points out above, revisiting your Will is important and doing so on Active Will’s online Will writing app is free and could not be easier. In fact, there is no easier way to review, revise and reprint your Will than with an online Will-writing template.
So, what are you waiting for?
Write your Will online now …
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