Do not let a legal nightmare be your legacy – please write a Will
Research undertaken by the Law Society highlights the fact that the majority of Britons have not written a will.*
The research revealed that 73% of 16-54 year olds don't have a will, while 64% of people over the age of 55 have made their final wishes clear in a will.
The research also found that men are more likely to have a will and keep it updated than women.
Erica Pearce-Howard of Crane & Staples Solicitors wants to make people aware that the consequences of dying without a valid will can be dire for those left behind.
Last year, £8m went to the government because people died intestate. Twenty-three per cent of respondents wrongly believed that without a will, their possessions would automatically go to their family.
It is estimated that by 2018 the government will receive nearly £6bn from inheritance tax.
Erica says “by careful planning, such as leaving money to charity, those with a will can substantially reduce the amount of inheritance tax that becomes liable or even alleviate it all together as inheritance tax can be a lot higher without a will.”
She continues “the figures are extremely concerning as thousands of people die every year without making a will or without a properly drafted will and these figures show just how bad the problem is. Dying without a valid will (intestate) not only means your final wishes will probably go unheeded, but the financial and emotional mess is left for your loved ones to sort out.”
It seems that the biggest motivators for people writing a will are seeing the negative implications of not having one, and 'feeling old enough' as nearly half (47.2%) of people draw up a will for one for one of these two reasons.
One respondent said nearly dying in a holiday swimming pool compelled them to write their will, while another said they didn't want their estranged wife to inherit anything.
The biggest reason people do not have a will is because they do not believe they have anything worth leaving (34%).
Following the research the Law Society is urging people to use a qualified, insured professional because he or she will be able to spot the nuances that could lead to trouble later on if not properly addressed.
71% of people said that they would be more likely to use a WIQS-accredited law firm. The Law Society' Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme provides a best practice quality mark for wills and estate administration advice that consumers can trust.
Crane & Staples is proud to announce that it has become the first law firm in Welwyn Garden City to achieve the Law Society’s WIQS accreditation and is only the third law firm in the whole of Hertfordshire.
Do not a legal nightmare be your final legacy – please write a will.
*The research for the Law Society was carried out by Opinion Matters between: 14/10/2014 and 17/10/2014.