Look, we know. It’s not a fun thing to do. We know it can be boring and a chore. We also know that you’re a grown-up and that you can do it. Especially this month, when you can get some free advice.
It’s a sobering thought that if you were to die without a will, your niece or nephew might have a greater claim on your assets than a partner you’d lived with for a decade. Even if you’re married, your spouse may only get the first £250,000 of your estate. Such are the rules of ‘intestacy’ (dying without a will) and yet around half of the UK still chooses to take the risk.
The rules are on the citizens advice website: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/family/death-and-wills/who-can-inherit-if-there-is-no-will-the-rules-of-intestacy/
If you’re not keen on those rules, your only option is to make a will. This allows you to decide how your assets are split, rather than seeing your money distributed haphazardly among your relatives.
But, but, but….
Isn’t it expensive? Time-consuming? A little bit morbid? Well, it’s never going to be a cheery discussion, but it doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. This month is ‘Free Wills Month’ – where various charities offer will-writing services for free. The hope is, presumably, that you’ll bequeath them a little something, but this isn’t obligatory.
They will only cover ‘simple’ wills. If you’ve got multiple properties, stepchildren, a string of ex-spouses, you’ll probably have to pay up. The website is here - https://freewillsmonth.org.uk/ - and you just have to stick in your details to find details of where it’s happening close to your home.
One final thought:
It is also important to make sure your ‘statement of wishes’ is up to date for your pension. After your home, pensions are often your most valuable asset and this statement determines who receives your pension after you die. Because of various complex trust-related reasons, pensions are outside your main estate, so need to be deal with separately.