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Why don’t more Britons have a will in place?

Failing to have a will in place could be damaging, not just to an individual but also to their close friends and family. After all, it can cause a great deal of confusion and upset during what is already an incredibly challenging time.

Yet, despite the potential consequences and the importance of organising one’s estate, the majority (54%) of Britons still do not have a valid will in place. So, why are so many people still reluctant to make a will?

No immediate benefits

One of the main supposed drawbacks of a will is that individuals rarely see any immediate benefits from having one in place. As such, many people are likely to push the thought of writing a will to the back of their minds.

However, it is vital to consider the longer-term benefits of having a will. Indeed, if one were to die without a will, all assets are organised via highly inflexible intestacy rules. This means that all assets are divided between blood relatives or legal spouses. By extension, unmarried long-term partners are likely to be overlooked within this process.

Having a will ensures that assets are divided exactly as the individual intended, giving both themselves and their loved ones some peace of mind.

Not enough assets

Many people assume that they do not have enough assets to justify writing a will. However, there is no minimum or maximum asset valuation required to create a will.

What’s more, many people have more assets than they think – from savings accounts and workplace pensions to cars and furniture. As such, it is certainly a valuable exercise to review all possessions and consider how they can be organised and handed down when an individual passes away. This way, people needn’t feel rushed to make any major decisions.

Too young for a will

Young people usually tend to assume that they are, in fact, too young to write a will. After all, over half of the wills in the UK are held by individuals aged between 50 and 70. That said, any adult aged 18 or over can hold a valid will.

Whilst young adults are understandably reluctant to consider how to arrange their assets in the event of their death, doing so certainly presents some benefits. For one, it helps them to protect all their prized processions from the aforementioned intestacy laws, should they die suddenly.

Writing a will as early as possible also sets strong foundations for future updates. Indeed, a will held by someone in their 20s can easily be updated to suit their changing circumstances. So, having a starting point for dividing one’s assets will undoubtedly be beneficial, given that individuals will likely accumulate more over the years.

Complexities of will writing

Perhaps one of the largest hurdles faced by individuals is uncertainty about the writing of the will itself. This is certainly understandable – legal documents can seem extremely intimidating and complex. However, consumers needn’t muddle through alone.

Qualified will writers can guide clients through the process, whether they require a will update, the complete writing of a will, or even the writing of a trust. As such, although wills may seem complicated and perhaps unnecessary for the immediate future, it certainly pays to take action and ensure one’s estate is in order. Doing so not only puts the will holders mind at ease but offers some welcome reassurance to their loved ones.