Jackson Barrett & Gass are again reminding people of the importance of making a Will after research* has revealed that over 28 million of the UK adult population (58%) is currently without a Will.
If you die without a Will (“IntEstate”), then the law will dictate who amongst your relatives receives what, which may mean relatives you do not like or have not seen for years. If you die without relatives then the state will take your Estate.
Interestingly, 11% believe their Estate will go to the right people automatically. The Intestacy rules also do not reflect modern society, and leave stepchildren and unmarried partners particularly vulnerable.
In their most basic form, Wills are recommended so that you can choose how your property or possessions are distributed upon death. At best, Wills can be used for Inheritance Tax (IHT) planning and saving tax allowances. The same research revealed 42% of UK adults have not thought about the impact of inheritance tax on the Estate they wish to leave behind when they pass away.
Procrastination remains the number one for not writing a Will. 11% said it never occurred to them and 21% felt that they didn’t have anything of value to leave behind. Nearly a third of those without a Will (30%) stated that they plan to make one when they ‘get older’: 32% of those over 55 do not have a Will in place and 64% of those aged 35 to 54 have not yet written a Will.
Specialist Wills & Probate Solicitor, Sean Barrow, says: “I genuinely believe that the awareness of the importance of having a Will is increasing. However, it is still a significant root of financial and personal problems when a friend or relative dies without a Will.
On a basic level, people are left second-guessing about the intentions of the deceased, when emotions tend to be running high. On a more complex level, the Intestacy rules don’t allow for modern families, and Inheritance Tax is also not considered.
For the equivalent cost of a meal for 4 in a restaurant, an individual can ensure that their wishes are carried out and that no problems await their loved ones.”
Jackson Barrett & Gass have developed a Will service to make it tailored to the individual in an attempt to make it as easy and reassuring as possible. Clients can choose from face-to-face meetings, including Home visits, to a fully electronic and remote service.
* Opinium Research online poll of 2009 UK adults from 28⁄0912 — 01/11/12
Author: Rick Barrow