Recent research shows that more than half of UK adults do not have a Will and at least 5m people in Britain do not know how to get one made.
A Will can be particularly important if you have a business as it means you can choose those with the expertise to help it through the choppy waters associated with losing its owner and help staff who will be plunged into a time of crisis without you there to help.
On your death a business administrator would not be able to deal with your business until they are appointed by a court whereas, in your Will, you can appoint executors with the power to act from the date of your death. Under the rules of intestacy it is possible that this duty would fall to your family who might not be the best people to help your business and its staff to move forward.
The research, which comes courtesy of insurers at Royal London and consumer organisation Which?, also reveals that nearly 60 per cent of those who don’t currently have a Will are parents. These people are leaving to chance what happens to their child should they die before the child reaches 18.
“Making a Will can be hard to discuss,” explains Will Richards, partner at Hine Downing, “Having yours in place lets you choose whom it is you wish to look after your estate when you’re no longer here to call the shots.
“You can make purposeful decisions about who looks after your business, your children and whom will inherit your estate. Otherwise what happens to everything you own is dictated by the rules of intestacy, which may not be in line with your better judgement.
“It can feel like a morbid topic but it doesn’t have to be,” he added. “We will all die at some point so why make life harder for the people we care about who we have left behind?
“Life may be complicated but making a Will is a simple process. Your local solicitor can guide you through the process and leave you with peace of mind that you have your affairs in order.”
Many people also don’t realise that their Will can go ‘out of date’. Even if you currently have a Will in place, it is important to regularly review it to take into account any changes in your personal or financial circumstances.
For example; if you have become married since you made your Will then, unless it was made in contemplation of the marriage, it’s likely that legalities around the marriage will revoke your Will. A chat with your solicitor and a simple update is all that is needed to ensure your wishes remain clear.
If you would like more information on how to make your Will and ensure your personal affairs are in order, please contact Hine Downing today and we will be able to help you achieve peace of mind that everything has been taken care of.