About 7 out of 10 people in the UK die every year never having got around to making their Will which means that they die intestate which, means that the law decides who gets their Estate.

 This can be very costly, take up a lot of time and can cause a lot of disappointment for families.

None of us like to think that we are going to die but unfortunately as recent events have shown this can happen at anytime, anywhere and at any age.

It is important that a Will is made at the earliest opportunity as your Will is a set of instructions stating who you wish to benefit from your Estate.

It is one of the most important documents you ever make and it can and should be updated whenever there are changes in your life both financial and personal e.g. buying a house, getting married, having children, divorce, leaving a legacy etc.

The reasons for not making a Will are many and varied and range from:

I'm too young to make a Will

I`m not planning to die (not many people start their day with the thought of planning to die )

It`s not high on my priority list of things to do.

One of the most common reasons for nor making a Will is that “I have nothing to leave”!.

When asked if they own their home they will state that "the bank/ building society owns it" i.e. they have a mortgage over the property.

However, they have a life insurance policy to cover the mortgage so that when they die the mortgage will be repaid thus leaving a house worth e.g. £130,000 which together with whatever they have in the bank + if they have a death in service benefit can mean a sizeable Estate.

Another common reason for not making a Will is that “I don`t need one as my wife/ husband/children will get everything".

That may happen but there could be problems and it could be very expensive to resolve as the deceased died intestate ( see above* ).

Here`s a serious question.

If you had died yesterday – what state would your affairs be in? Would they be easy to be dealt with and would your wishes be carried out?

If, as in the majority of such cases the answer is NO! – then do not delay – take around 1 – 2 hours of your life – (whilst you still have it) and make your Will.

Where there's a will, there's a way to get your affairs in order and once your Will is made – you can update it at any time.


Sandy Smillie

Will Services Scotland

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