15 January 2021
Death series: Will I, won’t I?
A recent survey by the ONS has found that a staggering 30 million people in the UK have not made a Will. There are various reasons for this, including many people thinking they are not old enough or that they are too busy to get around to it. If you’ve not made a will, perhaps it’s time to take our quick test which may persuade you to start planning for the future
1) I don’t need to make a Will as I am married and everything will go to my spouse if I die
FALSE – When a person dies without making a will, their estate is subject to the rules of intestacy. Many people assume that their spouse would inherit all of their assets, but this is not always the case. In general, the spouse would inherit the first £250,000 of the estate with the remaining assets being divided between the spouse and the deceased’s children.
2) Once I pass away, all my debts will be cancelled.
FALSE – The deceased’s assets will be used to pay off any debts. Beneficiaries (either in a will or under the intestacy rules) will receive any estate that remains.
3) I can only set up a Power of Attorney (LPA) when I have full mental capacity.
TRUE- an LPA can only be created by the person whose affairs will be taken care of. If that person doesn’t have the required mental capacity they cannot proceed and instead the family will have to apply to the court for a deputyship appointment which is both costly and time consuming.
4) I only need to think about a will when I’m much older
FALSE – No one can predict the future and know how long they’re going to live. Preparing a will now ensures your loved ones are protected.
5) I can make a will all on my own.
TRUE BUT not advisable – Many homemade wills contain errors which invalidate the Will or a particular gift. Common mistakes include failing to sign correctly, not securing appropriate witnesses (such as minors or beneficiaries) or using incorrect wording. Seeking expert advice ensures the correct procedures are followed and the adviser will talk you through everything – including things you may not have thought about!