Need to know the differences between Joint Wills, Mutual Wills and Mirror Wills? In this article our Wills, Trusts + Probate team explain more…
Will I? Won’t I?
It’s a well published fact that the majority of adults in the UK don’t have a valid will in place. But given that it’s such an important document – one that impacts the emotional and financial wellbeing of the ones we love – the obvious question is why not?
Katy Milton of the Wills & Probate Team at Barcan+Kirby looks at why so many people put off writing their Will.
Difficult subject matter
Sit down to plan your will and the inevitable happens, you come face to face with your own mortality.
By contrast, arranging Life Cover to protect a spouse or children is part and parcel of their financial planning. When it comes to writing a will however, they see it entirely differently.
If asked do you have life cover to protect your family, the answer would generally be yes, but ask the same question about a will and more often than not the answer is a resounding no. The irony is that without a will any financial protection you put in place may not reach those you intended it to.
Another factor that shouldn’t be discounted is the overall British reserve about discussing money, particularly in relation to inheritance. The old adage “it’s just not British” seems particularly apt when it comes to our will.
Another of the main barriers seems to be the emotional upset that writing a will can potentially cause within a family. Whilst logically you could argue it brings peace of mind to all those involved, in many instances the formalisation of the details can lead to substantial family divides and feelings of inequality, whether actual or perceived, which people don’t want to bring to the forefront.
Modern family life with a greater occurrence of second families can really make it difficult, for example where a couple has children together as well as from previous relationships. How the children are included within the arrangements, particularly following the death of the surviving spouse, can often be an bone of contention for those involved.
It’s perhaps only natural that people don’t want the difficult task of writing a will and communicating the arrangements to family members, creating more upset in the process. The downside of this is that without a will in place the family could be facing significantly more upset and uncertainty.
Complexity of the subject
For many the first two points aside, another barrier is knowing where to start when it comes to sorting out a will. What is the best way to protect your loved ones? How do you decide who should benefit? How will you ensure your wishes are fulfilled? The list of questions can be daunting.
Writing your will
Once you have the answers to your question, you can start writing your will, ensuring that it is valid, unambiguous and achieves the results you want.
But before you select a firm, you should ensure that they are regulated. This follows a recent Legal Services Board (LSB) investigation that found that one in five wills drawn up by unregulated firms had problems.
For a quote for our Will writing services, click here.