As a professional will writer, I have being banging on about this for years. Many people seem to have total apathy towards making their wills and protecting their loved ones inheritance. There was a survey compiled a few years ago by unbiased.co.uk a leading financial advice website which found that more than 30 million adults failed to make provisions for when they die.
According to unbiased.co.uk the number one reason for not leaving provision was apathy - lack of interest, with 36% saying they just haven't got round to sorting it out yet, and 8% that it never occurred to them. Almost one fifth (18%) don't think they have anything of value to leave behind and 10% claimed they would never make a will.
What happens if you die without making a will
If you die without making a will, it is called "intestate" and the rules of intestacy will apply. This means the State will decide who gets what from your estate – and if no one comes forward then the government will take the lot. Not having a will in place could also result in inheritance tax being due before the estate is released, so grieving families may be forced to take out expensive loans in order to release the assets. The BBC news website have published a recent article regarding "the sharp rise in intestate queries"
Below is a flow chart of Intestacy and who may receive your assets if you haven't made a will
How can I make a Will?
Drawing up a will doesn't have to be a daunting and complicated process. A professional Will Writer ie a member of the Society of Will Writers or Institute of Professional Will Writers can come out and visit you at home and guide you through the whole process. A home visit should take on average 1 hour and the cost of a professional single will should cost between £120 - £150 Once your will has been drafted the will writer should return to oversee the attestation - the signing and witnessing of your will. If your will has not been signed it will not be valid!
Storing your Will
Once you have a valid will, the original should be stored securely. You should notify your executors where it has been stored. Many will writing firms or solicitors will securely store your will for you. There is an annual fee for this, usually £20 - £40 per year.
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