5 Tips for Getting a Conversation Started About Making a Will

Clients often ask consultants with our parent company Honey Group (formerly known as The Will Associates) how they should start a conversation with a loved one about the importance of writing a Will. Many people think that doing so is crass, especially if there is a chance that they may benefit. If someone you love dies without making a Will and you have not made the effort to make them aware of how important doing so is though, you will live to regret it (even if they don’t.) 

Whilst there is no right or wrong way to start a conversation about Will writing, here are five ways we know to have helped our clients …

  1. You can blame your own financial advisor for insisting you have a conversation about writing a Will …Tell your loved one that you’ve ensured your estate is in order and your financial advisor has persuaded you of the need to ensure the same is true of your extended family.

  2. You can use a significant date to introduce a conversation about making a Will …A recent poll by Will Aid discovered that landmark birthdays – turning 40,50, 60, etc, were the primary reason why people decided to make a Will. A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that the most significant milestones for making noteworthy changes are 30, 40 and 50.

  3. You can watch a film together to introduce a conversation about the importance of making a Will …You can trigger so many important conversations by watching something on TV. Plot lines of most soap operas or the predictable plot developments of reality TV shows offer opportunity after opportunity.  Films make a great jump off point for life’s must have conversations too. When it comes to Will writing ones to consider include: On Golden Pond, Quartet, Driving Miss Daisy, The Bucket List, Cocoon or The Straight Story.

  4. You can share a story regarding people dying without a Will or people losing capacity before they have made their final wishes clear …Take a look at My Estate Planning Expert for ideas. There’s lots of useful information in the blogs on this site to aid your cause too. You can find facts, such as the number of people dying without a Will doubling over the last five years and the number of inheritance disputes brought to the high court increasing by 80% over the last 10 years, for example.Better still, share the story of someone you know, or ask your loved one to share the story of how they knew what their parents wanted to happen with their house, money and possessions when they died.

  5. You can make them aware of the opportunity to write a free Will online that leaves a legacy to a charity of their choice …Maybe simply making your loved one aware of our new campaign – write a Charity Will  for free, leaving a legacy of whatever size they like to a charity of their choice - might motivate them to take action?Any amount left to a charity will not be subject to inheritance tax, and if they leave more than 10% of their entire estate, their loved ones will get a 10% discount off the remaining taxable amount according to the Government’s generous Inheritance Tax (IHT) rules.

In our next blog we’ll share 5 tips for shaping the conversation once you’ve started it, but if you’d like advice in the meantime, please feel free to contact us or chat online. We’re here to help 


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