10-17th September is ‘Remember a Charity Week.’ Here at Local Solutions, we’re part of Legacy Liverpool – an awareness campaign group made up of 20 charities, encouraging people to perhaps consider leaving a gift in their will to a local charity. It’s not a topic we like to talk about a lot but did you know that only one in two adults living in the UK have written a will? There’s all sorts of reasons why people do not make a will, here’s some of the common ones:
1. I’ve got nothing to leave – only rich people make Wills
Wills are not just for people leaving millions of pounds! Most people have personal possessions; a bank account; or a car. For younger people, their most important consideration is their children – with a Will they can appoint guardians to look after their children. Everyone needs a will, whether you're young or old, rich or poor, whether you have children or not. You probably have property and personal possessions that you would want to go to certain people. To put it all down on paper for your family and friends helps to prevent squabbling – or things going where you may not want them to go.
2. Wills are for old people - I’ll write one when I’m old
This is not necessarily true. Unfortunately, people can become ill at a young age, so it’s important to make arrangements for your children, family and friends.
3. I’m married – I don’t need to make a Will, my husband/wife and children will get everything
It’s not as simple as that. Under the intestacy rules (rules that apply when there is no written will), your spouse and children will inherit everything but any step-children will not. Similarly, the rules will take no account of your situation if you have become separated or estranged from a family member or if you have someone that you count as a family member.
4. I don’t have anyone to leave anything to
If you don’t make a Will, you may find things being left to a very distant relative that you have never met or heard of or it will be handed to the state. If you have no ‘blood relatives’, you may wish to leave something to a friend or a neighbour who has been kind or leave it to a charity.
5. I can’t make these decisions yet, it’s too complicated
Even if you have very complex finances e.g. pensions, businesses, insurances, and family members and friends, solicitors are experienced in this and can offer advice. Additionally, you don’t have to specify every decision at the point of making a will but you can appoint Executors (people you trust and whose opinions you value) to make decisions.
6. I haven’t got the time and it’s too expensive
The time to write a Will is about the same as taking out insurance or switching a utility supplier which are things we make time for regularly. You can also save time by doing some thinking and making some notes prior to an appointment.
Visit the Legacy Liverpool for top tips on making a will and to find out more about the awareness campaign and the difference that a gift in your will can make to a local cause.