The majority of Wills ever written don’t work very well!
Make sure you keep your assets in your family
We all know the importance of making a Will, yet less than half of adults in the UK have ever got around to making even the most basic of provisions for their loved ones.
Even If you already have a Will, then you should consider very carefully whether it really achieves what you intended it to.
Have you made a will?
Recent research from insurance company Royal London suggests that for the majority of you who read this article, the answer will be no.
Their report reveals the worrying statistic that over half (54%) of adults in the UK have not made a will. Perhaps more shocking still, the percentage of parents who don’t have a will in place is even higher at almost 60%.
What happens when you die without a will?
What happens to your assets?
If you die without having made a valid will, your estate (your money, property and other possessions) will be divided according to the rules of intestacy.
Essentially, the rules of intestacy are the financial will that you get when you don’t make the decision for yourself.
As you can see from the image, the rules of intestacy are very formulaic and, for most families, especially these days where many people have more than one significant relationship in their lifetime, they rarely reflect what you might want to happen to your assets when you are gone.
Only by making a will can you hope to have any control on who receives the wealth that you have built up over a lifetime when you have passed.
What about your children?
If you have minor children (or vulnerable adults) in your family then making a will is all the more essential.
Long distant are the days when children of deceased parents would simply (and quickly) be placed with “Grandma & Grandpa” or “Aunty & Uncle” to care for.
In the most instances, they would be taken into local authority care to be looked after until suitable permanent guardians can be appointed. It may well be that at some future point they end up with a family member, possibly even those you would have chosen yourself, but this can be a long process; imagine what it would be like for your children to be taken away from their close family at a time when they have just lost their parents?
Why take that risk when you can determine immediately who you would like to look after your children in the event of your death, simply by making a will?
Even if you have a Will…is it trustworthy?
Making a Will, on its own, will rarely give you the protection and reassurance that you might expect.
You would think wouldn’t you that if you make a Will, you clearly state within it who you wish to benefit by receiving your assets and in what proportions after you have died, that should be it shouldn’t it? Cast in stone! Job done!
Sadly, this is all too often not the case.
Even a properly drawn up Will would not, in many cases, satisfy the long-term expectations of those who make them.
Most Wills ever written would leave your home and assets at risk to some serious dangers which mean that your loved ones may not inherit some, possibly even all, of your assets!
Additionally, the majority of the value of your home could be lost should you ever need long term care in a residential or nursing home.
There are many “real life” situations that can seriously threaten your intended beneficiaries' inheritance.
Consider for a moment; how many of the situations listed below have happened at some point in your own extended family?
A couple get divorced, then one or both of them remarry.
On the death of a partner, somebody subsequently remarries.
Someone experiences financial difficulties and has to make arrangements with creditors or becomes bankrupt.
The surviving partner of a couple needs to move into a care home for their long-term care.
These are just a few of the scenarios that can have a devastating effect on who may eventually benefit from your estate. Your original beneficiaries could end up receiving less than you intended, possibly nothing at all!
Is there any way to protect against these dangers?
There are some very long-established strategies that can be put in place that will mean that when you make a will, you can be confident that it will do what you intended it to do.
Whilst these strategies are fairly straight-forward in nature, they are not something you can easily put in place without advice, so we would recommend that you contact your estate planner to discuss your arrangements and make sure that you have a Will that will stand the test of time.
If there is anything that the recent research from Royal London has made clear, it is probably that whether or not you already have a will in place, now is probably a good time to look at the subject of Wills and make sure that you and your family are well protected.
Ancojada Limited is not authorised or regulated to provide financial advice.
All financial advice is provided by other regulated businesses.
Advice on making Wills is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
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