Making a will is always important

by Sarah Ashcroft

No one wants to think about dying, which is just one of the things that makes writing a will seem unpleasant.

Most people know they need to have their wishes and requests written down to avoid any confusion when they die, but there is always 'another day' to deal with it.

The price is often not the main thing holding people back from making a will, with general procrastination and many people thinking their assets are not worth enough putting people off.

According to the most recent figures, one in three people die without making a will and half of all people over the age of 45 have not made a will.

If you do die, through old age, illness or accident without making a will, the decisions over what to do with your assets can be chaotic and confusing.

More worryingly, it means more money can be handed over to the taxman and that your assets and possessions could be left in the hands of someone you didn't want them to.

Without a will, intestacy rules come into force which will see money divided to a strict formula between parents, spouse and children.

In many cases, this means leaving unintended bequests to distant or even estranged relatives.

Unmarried couples are most at risk, as the entire estate could be left to the crown if there are no close relatives. This could mean partners end up homeless, unless the property is jointly owned.

However, even where property is joint, unmarried partners could be forced to pay inheritance tax just to stay in their home, something which is not always the case with spouses.

Dying intestate also rules out leaving any money or gifts to charity, as well as anything to friends or step-children.

With all these things solved by simply making a will, it's time to bite the bullet and get on with it. It needn't be complex or expensive. You can make a Will with Lawpack's DIY Last Will & Testament Kit for just £9.99.

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Published on: June 29, 2012

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