At Flackwoods, we often get asked questions along the line of; “Am I too young to write a will? Or, ”when should I be writing a will?” A will can be written at any age after 18; however, it’s often certain circumstances that trigger the need or want to write a will. These are often specific life events, which we’ll detail later. But first, let’s address the benefits of writing a will.
Why Should I Write a Will?
Writing a will can be a daunting task, but it’s actually a very sensible thing to do. When writing a will, you can be reassured that your savings and your possessions go to the people or causes you care about.
A will can help avoid relative disputes over who is entitled to what in terms of your financial leftover; which can often result in solicitors getting involved. By writing a will exactly as you want it, you can be assured to know that this won’t happen.
When two people get married, they have made a life-long commitment to each other, and with this commitment it’s very common for wills to be made or altered accordingly. Most often in younger marriages, this will usually trigger the same thought of providing for their families as well. When getting married whilst already having children, from a legal standpoint some things will change. The mother will always have parental responsibility, however, the father will also have parental responsibility if the child is born in wedlock or upon marrying, or by signing a parental responsibility agreement.
Re-Marriage after a divorce or death of spouse will revoke any prior will. Therefore, it’s very common for new wills to be written either in anticipation of the new marriage or shortly after; this also applies to Civil Partnerships. When getting remarried without writing a new will in anticipation, if anything were to happen, your estate would be dealt under the rules of intestacy, meaning your spouse would receive up to £250,000 with the rest going to children in trust and siblings. If you don’t have any children, your spouse will receive up to £450,000 and the rest will go to your siblings.
There are two main concerns for parents after having children. Firstly, what assets will be available to them if you die? And secondly, who will look after them if you die? Writing a will allows you to address both of the above. You can allocate assets and money and use it to appoint guardians to protect your children and support them financially.
If someone has a terminal illness, they may want to write a will to allocate a certain amount of their assets towards specific people or charities, opposed to having them pass under intestacy rules. Under intestacy, the order in which inheritance goes to is as follows:
- Brothers or sisters or their children, or children’s children
- Half brother or sisters or their children, or children’s children
- Uncles or aunts, whole blood brothers and sisters of the parent, or their children, or children’s children
- Uncles and aunts half blood brothers and sisters of the parents, or their children, or their children’s children
If you have none of the above still alive, everything will go to the crown.
For more information about the intestacy rules please click here.
If you would like help with writing a will or need any other questions answered, feel free to visit our page on wills or give us a call on 01403 738777.