I can’t think of many words that have the ability to immediately switch people off or make them feel a little uncomfortable.
But, one word I have in mind certainly has this affect and perhaps it is why so many people die without ever having made one. This word is ‘Will’ – please bear with me…!
It may be that people see a Will as a waste of money, something that isn’t needed until you’re elderly or only if you are rich. Whatever the reasons, just 38% of the British public had a Will in 2015*. In fact, according to Citizens Advice, the number of people dying without a valid Will has more than doubled within the last five years.
Sadly, here at St Wilfrid’s, we know that a Will is necessary before you reach old age and there are so many important reasons to have one. Anyone aged over 18 years should consider officially recording their wishes about any loved ones, finances or possessions. For example, think about:
- If you have dependent children, who would look after them?
- If you have pets, who would care for them?
- How you may wish to divide any property, savings, pensions, items of value (such as jewellery of paintings) between any family or friends.
- Do you have any funeral wishes?
- Would you wish to leave a gift to charity?
Without a Will your wishes may not be carried out as you would like and your Estate (everything you own) would follow the ‘intestacy’ laws.
It is also commonly assumed that everything you own will pass to your partner, but unless you are married (or have registered a Civil Partnership) then this is not the case. And, in instances where there are no surviving family members your estate could pass to the Government.
No-one would want to leave their loved ones with the burden of dealing with legal and financial matters at a time when they are coping with your death. Especially when making a Will is so simple and not as expensive as people think; it could also help to lessen the inheritance tax payable on your estate.
The sooner your Will is written, the sooner you and your loved ones will have peace of mind. Should you wish to take part in our Make A Will Fortnight scheme, running from 5th – 16th June, then you can have your Will written or amended free of charge and support our work with terminally-ill people.
Find out more: stwh.co.uk/mawf
*According to the YouGov survey of 1,794 adults, 38% of the public in England and Wales had a will in 2015, up from 35% in 2014. The poll was conducted by YouGov for the Legal Services Consumer Panel Tracker Survey 2015.