Despite this being an age of blended family relationships and complicated financial affairs, more than 31 million of the UK population don’t have a Will.
So why do so many people simply refuse to make one?
You only have to open the papers to see the death of a celebrity, who has left their entire estate to their cleaner, or a bitter relative contesting against the Will after the death of a supposed loved one, where the brother who did nothing receives the whole estate and when the other brother cared for the deceased during the end of their days, receives nothing, the bromance has finally reached its end.
We watch it on TV, Eastenders; bought us the death of Edna, who left everything her best friend Dot Cotton, Emmerdale; Jack Sugden left his farm estate to his sons and more recently on ITV Sitcom Cold Feet; where Jenny loses her mum Barbara and her sister Sheila, inherits all of Barbara’s estate, as after finding the Will, Shelia has been left it all and Jenny and her children, Barbara’s grandchildren are left nothing. We have seen it all, people being cut out and left destitute through families being ripped at the seams, due to an imbalance of inheritance to people who become multi millionaires almost overnight.
But as much as people might be fascinated by others’ tales of surprise windfalls or bitter disinheritance, when it comes to our own affairs, we make every excuse under the sun, to put it off, until we can look at it properly, but for some unknown reason that time never comes.
Are we a society that suffers from ostrich syndrome? Constantly hiding our heads in the sand, until the problem goes away.
Only 3 in every 10 people have a Will in the UK.
Last year alone the treasury gained £53m from people who died without a Will (Intestate), that was a rise of 20% from the previous year. We as a nation now battle with the Coronavirus pandemic, it makes you wonder what percentage it will rise further.
And yet, as the we are faced with more global threats such as unexplained often incurable illnesses and diseases, violence towards each other, car accidents, threat attacks and Cancer, already in this delicate and fragile society of combined and blended families, surely writing a Will has never been so much in the forefront of our society and surely it’s never been so important as it is now.
So why does making a Will leave people with such sweaty palms and so nervous?
Why do we as a society believe that we should only make a Will when we are in our 70’s?
Why do we only think we can only make a Will if we are married, or when we have over £6,000 in savings?
These are all misconceptions, You can make a Will as soon as you reach 18, if you are in the Army or Military, you can write one at 16. You certainly need a Will if you own property or have assets, (savings, even if you have as little as £100), If you have no Will, your money and your estate will be taken to court and the court will decide where the money should go, no Will, no say!
That £100 you worked hard for, will go to the treasury, Don’t you think they have enough money?
Whilst the whole world is on lockdown, due to the invasion of Coronavirus, trying to save each other and stop the virus spreading, people have been taking to social media and recording themselves leaving messages for loved ones incase they don’t make it, discussing the important things they wish they had done, like finishing college through to getting married.
While others are planning what to do if they are having to stay at home, from painting the house to sitting and watching box sets, surely now would be the best time, for discussing your Will with your family members, making a list of your assets and whom you wish to receive such items or money from your estate. No one knows the outcome, none of us do, it’s a scary concept, but there is no more room for ostriches.
Don’t put off writing your Will today, saying that you will do it tomorrow, because for some of us tomorrow will never come.
Call our team at Family Matters, and start planning for your family’s future, before it becomes too late