A Will is an important milestone in becoming a responsible adult because it allows you to control what happens to your property, whether a house, a savings account, or a CD collection. A Will designates care for dependents, and protects loved ones from legal hassles or uncertainty in dealing with your belongings. Having a Will doesn’t declare to the world that you’re rich but that you care for those you leave behind and are being responsible in organising your affairs.
Life events happen unexpectedly and so does death. Don’t put off making a decision today because you would rather spend the money on something which will not help your family in the event of your death. Having a Will in place is the best use of both your time and money. No matter what age you are, we all have treasured possessions and assets that we want to see in the hands of our loved ones.
Many young adults avoid writing a Will because they think they are not old or wealthy enough to need one. However, life can be unexpected so it’s crucial to have a Will regardless of age or finances. It’s a hard truth but death won’t wait for you to have your affairs in order, it also doesn’t care if you’re 21 or 98 which means you should be prepared. Anything can happen.
If you die without a Will, the decision of what happens to your property and finances, no matter how meager, will be decided by a probate laws, and the final outcome may not be what you intended. Such involvement almost always costs your friends and family considerable time and money. Your estate will probably be distributed according to the laws of Intestacy.
If you are young, you know that you will be going through a number of life changing events. You are likely to form new relationships, buy a house, accumulate assets, maybe even have children. At each of these life events, you should at first create and then review and update a Will.
If you have a family, are unmarried and sadly pass away, your loved ones may not be protected, depending on how you have managed your assets and estate. If you are the sole name on a mortgage of a house, your partner will not be entitled to the house and may have to leave. If you do not have a joint bank account, your finances may not be left to your partner. And, without legal documentation and proof of ownership, your partner may not be entitled to your possessions. Creating a Will allows you to decide where your possessions, finances and estate goes and helps protect your family.
A common misconception with Wills is that they are probably expensive, and that they are a hassle to create. However, working with a Wills specialist at a solicitors, this is not the case. A Will at Howells starts from £150.00 + VAT for a basic single Will and £220.00 + VAT for a basic joint Will. It is also important to create a Will using a solicitors rather than draft it yourself, as poorly written Wills can come with hidden costs and stress at a later stage.
The first steps in writing a Will is to make a detailed list of all your possessions, which could include bank accounts, electronics, or a car.
Next, if you have children or pets, think about who you would like to take care of them and name those people as guardians. You also must decide who will be executor of your Will. This is the person who will protect your property and ensure that all matters are handled as instructed by the Will.
Once you have an idea of the matters you would like to see in your Will, you should have a qualified specialist prepare it for you. This is where Howells can help.
After your Will is completed, it is necessary to update it when changes in your life occur, such as inheriting property, getting married (or divorced), or having a new baby.
Writing a Will may seem to be an unnecessary task given your age or lack of significant assets, but it should not be ignored. Having a proper Will in place provides you with peace of mind, knowing that if the unthinkable happens, you have taken care of the people and things that are most important to you.
Howells Solicitors are experts in creating and amending Wills, and advising on the best options for you. Contact us today to discuss how we can support you and your family, by email [email protected] or calling us on 0114 2496666.
Written by Lindsey Rawson, Head of Wills, Trusts & Probate and Partner