27th March 2014 at 6:37pm
None of us want to make life more stressful and more upsetting for people we care about. But thousands of us do, when it comes to taking control over who inherits what, when and how. We fail to write a Will.
At a time when family members are already grieving a loss, they’ve the added burden of having to sort out the complexities surrounding an estate. This added stress and the strain it can bring on family relationships is unnecessary and can be easily lifted with some early foresight and planning. It may take a little time on your part, but the legacy it will leave for those you care about will be worth it.
Your loved ones are the ones who suffer
Over the years, I’ve had coffee with lots of people who’ve talked to me about their own situation.
“It was a mess and it cost a fortune” : one story a colleague shared with me, about what happened when a relative died without a Will.
So, it feels obvious that we should sort this kind of thing out. Why don’t we?
61% of adults in the UK don’t have a Will, according to our last research on this*. Are you one of them?
Some people mentioned cost, and that it’s expensive to have one drawn up : 9% of women and 4% of men gave this as the reason for not having a Will.
Is your Will always on your ‘To Do’ List, and never gets done?
But cost wasn’t the main barrier. The overwhelming majority in our survey said they just hadn’t got round to making a Will yet. Around 30% gave this as the reason. It’s understandable – life is busy and there are many demands on our time. And maybe you don’t know where to start when it comes to making a Will?
“It was a mess and it cost a fortune”
For many years, I admit I was a happy DIYer when it came to writing my own Will – after all, I’d been trained for several years on the very detailed wording involved.
But this year, I no longer felt uptodate on all the latest precise wording for wills. My circumstances were also more complex than they were ten years ago. It was time to get expert help.
A family holiday involving all my nearest and dearest focussed my mind. I was determined to get my Will updated before we all went away together. The clock was ticking.
From start to finish, the process took less than a month. Two phone calls, two bits of post and two emails exchanged, and that was it. No meeting needed with the lawyer, because I just phoned her or emailed her at lunchtimes to cover off the queries.
My new Will is much better than my old DIY one, covering more “what if” scenarios. And I’m happy knowing that it’s stored in the safe of a law firm, so I won’t lose it. My family holiday was much more relaxed – effectively, my Will gave me peace of mind.
Are you ready to grasp that nettle and get some peace of mind for you and your loved ones?
I found it wasn’t a nettle at all – it felt really reassuring knowing it was sorted. As that colleague told me when sharing her story about her relative who died without a Will: “If you don’t organise things, you’re not doing the people you care about any favours”
*Standard Life Wills and Trusts Research Report 2012
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Standard Life has a referral service, which can help you put a will or power of attorney in place. We’ve linked with a law firm in England and Wales, and also Scotland, to make it easier for you to take the next step. These law firms offer a fixed fee service, to give you certainty over how much it will cost. If you’d like to use this service or request an Information Pack, call us on 0345 272 8848.