Free Will registration month 2024

Throughout May, the National Will Register is offering free registration of Wills. This campaign will hopefully not only remind everyone to get their Will registered, but to ensure they have written their first one or updated an existing draft.

We know that for many people, the prospect of writing their Will can be unsettling, bringing to mind their own mortality. But facing up to the task of writing your Will, is far easier than the chaos that can be left for family and friends trying to manage an estate without a valid Will to indicate how the deceased wished their assets to be distributed.

Given the benefits of drafting a Will, the specialist support available and the chaos left if no Will is written, what prevents people from completing their Will? Here are five reasons people find it hard to draft a Will or complete one they’ve started.

#1 – They believe they don’t need one

Some people believe that if they have no assets or are single, then they don’t need a Will? Some married people, with children, believe they do not need a Will as everything will just pass to their spouse when they die.

In reality, anyone who thinks like this is wrong. A valid, well-drafted Will allows you to do many things, but one of the most important is the ability to ease the burden on others after your passing.

You may be single with no assets, but your funeral will still cost money, and you may have an opinion about your funeral service, your obituary and giving gifts outside the family, perhaps to charities that supported you in life.

Of course, if you have young children, then appointing a guardian to take care of them after your death is a critical reason for parents to write Wills. You should also consider the care of any pets you have, as without a Will their welfare becomes the concern of others, when you can simply stipulate in your Will, how they must be cared for after your death.

You can use a Will in conjunction with life insurance policies, or a trust to ensure your family does not have to bear the financial burden of your passing, whilst ensuring your funeral is handled exactly as you wish.

#2 – They don’t want to discuss personal details

To draft a valid Will that accurately details your wishes, you will have to discuss your life with someone and that can be daunting for many people. The thought of sitting with a stranger and discussing who should receive what after you die, is intimidating for even the strongest character, but it’s what specialist solicitors are trained for.

When helping a client complete the process of setting up their Will, experienced Private Client solicitors know how to put you at ease and make it a stress-free process. Ensuring you go through your assets in detail with a professional is especially important for those with significant assets or complex estates.

#3 – They don’t feel they need to yet

No one ever wants to consider their own passing, but it is increasingly important that everyone writes and registers a valid Will, considering even modest homes can now add substantial value to an estate, to say nothing of pensions.

It is important to note that a Will is a living document. Once drafted it should be regularly re-visited to ensure it reflects changes in circumstances, such as a new partner, children, divorce or new assets. The best advice is draft a Will and keep updating it, so if the unexpected happens, you do not leave chaos behind for your family to cope with.

#4 – They don’t know the consequences of not having a Will

Now more than ever, it is critical that everyone has a valid Will written and registered before they die. If you die without one, your said to have died intestate, which means the state decides how to apportion your estate, which is likely to be at odds with any personal wishes you held.

The situation is particularly fraught for any surviving partner in a relationship which wasn’t a marriage or civil partnership. You may have lived with a person for several decades, but if they die without making a Will, then you have no automatic rights to their estate.

And all the chaos can be prevented by reaching out to dedicated, experienced legal team, such as you find here at Rowberry Morris [link] and beginning the process of writing your Will.

#5 – They believe only rich people need a Will

Many people believe only the wealthy require a Will and the services of a professional adviser to help draft one. However, the majority of people will have some or all of the following asset classes, such as property, antiques, jewellery, trusts, a business and other valuable assets that they will want to go to specific family members, friends, charities or institutions.

The total of everything you personally own is your estate and if you ignore its existence, you cannot control what happens to any part of it, after you die. With an accurate, valid Will, you can decide who benefits and who does not.

In conclusion

We understand that facing up to drafting your Will, is quite the challenge, especially if you feel fit and healthy. But ignoring the task and putting it off for months, years or decades, only stores up problems for those you leave behind – we’re confident you don’t want that to happen.

Working with professional advisers can solve a lot of problems and help you plan for the future, re-visiting your Will to reflect changes in your life. And rising property prices means more families will be impacted by inheritance tax, which requires careful planning to help reduce the portion of your estate lost in tax

The best time to draft your Will is now. So please get in touch and arrange a meeting with one of our highly experienced team, who will put your mind at ease and guide you through the process, or visit our Wills page for more information.