It will not come as a surprise to you that whether I'm speaking with my clients or spending time with friends, people do not like talking about death. No one likes to consider their own mortality and the subject of death isn't one we want to discuss at the dinner table.
However, should this be a conversation we should be having more often? In a world of so many uncertainties, death is one thing that we can all be sure of.
In recent research undertaken by Unbiased.co.uk, and discussed this morning on Magic Breakfast with Ronan Keating & Harriet Scott, it has been revealed that approximately 31 million people in the UK do not have a Will. This equates to around 60% of UK adults.
The most common reason that people gave was that they just haven't got round to it yet. I'm sure we've all been there, we have a 'to do list' and the tasks we are not looking forward to get left at the bottom, and we claim "I'll do it later". In fact, 26% of those who revealed they don't have a Will said that they would indeed do it in "later life".
Of those aged 35-54 who took part in the research, approximately 75% indicated that they have taken no steps to put a Will in place. It is during this stage of life that we are most likely to have dependants whom we would want to ensure are provided for and often find ourselves with the greatest financial commitments.
The truth is, in the absence of a Will, an estate would be distributed in accordance with the rules of intestacy. These rules are not always as straight forward as you would think, even if you are married, and there is a significant risk that your wishes will not be fulfilled nor sufficient provision not being made to those most important to you.
Having your wishes properly documented carries even more significance if you have minor children, are living unmarried with a partner, have step children or are in a second marriage with children from a prior relationship. The rules of intestacy just do not consider the complexities of 21st century family life.
There are significant benefits to having a Will and considerable risks of not having one. By making suitable provision, you can ensure that not only are your wishes reflected, but you could also save your loved ones from any unnecessary stress, upset, delay and expense that can often accompany an intestate estate.
Both I and my colleagues within the Private Client team at Gepp and Sons would be more than happy to discuss the benefit of Wills, the risks of not having one and assist you in making the appropriate provisions that best achieve your wishes.
If you have any questions or wish to book an appointment to discuss your Will (or lack of one!), please contact me on 01245 228120 or firstname.lastname@example.org.