A Will isn’t only important for passing things on, it decides who looks after your children. So why do many people give little thought to making a Will and why does it appear as one of the last things on the ‘to-do list’?
People will often say ‘I don’t have time’, ‘this is too morbid’, ‘it’s too complicated’ or ‘I’ve got nothing worth leaving’. I understand why people might not want to make a Will, but more focus should be given to why you should make a Will than why you should not.
And it seems that more men are hiding from the issue, with 18% of men telling us that they found the idea of dying ‘too morbid’ to deal with, compared with only 6% of women.
Looking after the kids
I work in the Which? Wills team and while I get it’s not something you’d want to spend time thinking about, especially when you’re young, I was surprised to hear the results of our latest survey. Only a quarter of parents with children below 10-years-old had made a Will.
We found many parents think a Will is only important if they have assets to pass on, but a Will can also be used to stipulate who should become their children’s guardian should something happen to them.
Naming guardians in a Will means that the well-being and best interests of your children will be safeguarded. You can be safe in the knowledge that they’ll be raised in a manner and environment you approve of.
Dying without a Will
And I’m sure it goes without saying that you wouldn’t want your possessions left to someone you never knew or firmly disliked. But that’s exactly what could happen if you die without a Will. Unless you use a Will to specify who you’d like to benefit and how, your estate (what you own) will be given out based on the ‘intestacy rules’.
Plus, dying without a Will can make the whole process far longer and harder on your loved ones. Often it means a relative will have to apply to ‘administer the estate’ and distribute the belongings themselves. A will allows executors to be selected who are considered to have the necessary skills, including being reliable and trustworthy.
Surely there are more reasons to write a Will than not, especially if you have kids.
Have you written a Will, or are you putting it off? If you have made a Will, did you find the process difficult?