Making a Will sounds easy and straightforward enough and the truth is that from a practical sense it is. Why, then, do so many of us not make one?
We all know that making a Will makes sense; that it allows us to leave those things that we have worked so hard for to those in our lives that mean so much to us, but the problem is not the logic, it’s the emotion. Making a Will brings our own mortality to the forefront of our mind and that scares us and it is wholly understandable because we put ourselves in the position of planning for what happens when we are no more. But making a Will is so much more than planning for our death…It’s peace of mind. Peace of mind for ourselves because we know it’s done and we have worked out our wishes and peace of mind for those loved ones that we leave behind, because an estate with a Will is so much more simple to navigate than intestacy (an estate without a Will).
Recently the BBC reported on the rise of intestacy enquiries in the UK with research from the Citizens Advice Bureau showing nearly 4000 enquiries being fielded in 2015. Further research shows that some 60% of adults in the UK do not have a Will meaning there will be a lot more enquiries in respect of intestate estates in the coming years. One high profile Intestate is Prince. Currently his affairs are being managed by a bank, there are at least 10 lawyers involved in proceedings and who knows how many potential beneficiaries. The estate could take years to finalise and the amount of money lost to legal fees will be staggering. The rules of intestacy are certain but they are not necessarily fair; unmarried partners and step-children for example are not recognised.
Making a Will brings certainty to an uncertain time and peace of mind to a time of highly charged emotion. Making a Will means that our loved ones can concentrate more important things like grieving for their loss.