When Should I Make a Will?

Wills aren’t often a topic of consideration for younger people. Many think that they only need to start putting a Will together when they reach retirement – or that it’s not necessary at all.

You can legally write a Will from the age of 18, but most people who do so are over the age of 50. But making a Will isn’t just for older people.

Younger people also have assets that need to be dealt with.

The importance of a Will

If you die without a Will, this is known as dying intestate. It means that your estate will be distributed to people set out in law. Married and civil partners, children, grandchildren, parents and siblings can inherit under these rules.

In most cases, partners who are not married or in a civil partnership will not be able to inherit any of the estate. So if you want your partner to receive part or all your estate, you should set this out in a legal Will.

According to Royal London, 44% of homeowners don’t have a Will in place. When questioned, those surveyed by the institution said that they didn’t have anything valuable to pass on after their death. But 16% of those people owned a property, which could end up going to the wrong person without a Will.

One of the most important assets to include in a Will is a home. And if you own yours with someone else, it’s even more important to make sure you set out your wishes for it.

If you own yours with your partner as joint tenants, your partner would automatically receive your share after your death and become the sole owner of the whole property. But if you own your home as tenants in common, your share will become part of your estate and be distributed according to your Will or the rules of intestacy. So if you’re a homeowner, it’s hugely important to set out your wishes for your property.

Younger people and Wills

Aside from property, why else should younger people think about a Will?

There are plenty of reasons you might want to look at setting out your wishes for your estate sooner rather than later. These include:

  • Ease the stress for your family

If you do sadly pass away at a younger age, your loved ones could be left in shock. The grief they experience may be stronger than if you had lived to an old age. By having a legal Will in place, you can at least do something to help ease the stress they’ll be dealing with.

Without a Will, your family could be left with uncertainty around what your wishes would have been. And the rules around intestacy mean there could be potential conflict over who receives your estate.

  • Ensure your kids are taken care of

In a Will, you can set out who you want to appoint as guardian of your underage children if the worst were to happen. As the average age of a mother in England and Wales is 31 and a father is 34, you’re more likely to have to think about your children’s future care when you’re younger.

Dying without a Will means the courts will appoint a guardian for your children – and this person may not be who you would have chosen.

  • Set out a social media policy

You can set out your wishes for your social media accounts in your Will. But not just social media profiles – you can appoint someone to deal with digital assets like email accounts, photos, music and film downloads, gaming accounts and cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin.

Although these aren’t traditional assets, they still have value – often sentimental – so you can make provisions for them.

Be clear about your wishes

If you have any assets to your name – whether you consider them valuable or not – you should think seriously about setting out what you want to happen to them. Putting your wishes down in black and white can make things more straightforward when the time comes.

Making a Will isn’t a complicated or time-consuming process. Getting the right legal help makes it even easier to be clear about what you want to happen to your estate.

To find out how First4Lawyers can help you create a Will, just give us a call or make an enquiry online.


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