The importance of writing a will

The most important thing you can do in your lifetime, to ease the pain for your friends and family when you die, is to write a will. This details what is to happen to your assets and possessions after you die. It can also specify critical things, such as who would be the legal guardians of your children, grandchildren or any other dependants in such unfortunate circumstances.

What are the risks of not having prepared a will?

Family arguments at an already stressful and emotional time

The most important reason for leaving a will is to ensure that your wishes are respected when you die. It typically avoids unpleasant arguments amongst family members and friends. If you die without a will, the legal term is to have died ‘intestate’, a horrible word, surpassed only by the difficulty that your friends and family will have in dealing with your estate. There are specific legal rules as to what would happen to your assets and care of any dependents if you were to die intestate. At best, this means your estate may not be distributed as you would wish, a particular concern for any step-children or couples who are not married. At worst, if you have no relatives, The Crown could end up with your assets! That’s why it’s so important to have a legally binding will, even if you want to leave your entire estate to charity.

Your family could miss out on lost assets

The other really handy thing that a will does, is to document what your assets are and where to find them. As well as saving your family many frustrating hours of having to sort through reams of paperwork, it also prevents them from missing things. Research estimates that in the absence of a will, families miss out on an average of nearly £10,000 in lost assets.

Unnecessary tax charges

Another thing worth noting is that for anyone with assets over the inheritance tax threshold of £325,000, the way the intestacy rules work is almost always not going to be the most efficient way for your estate to be distributed from a tax perspective – meaning that your friends and family could be left with less than you intended due to an unnecessary tax charge.

Who will be managing your estate?

As well as specifying who will receive your assets when you die (your beneficiaries), you need to specify who will take responsibility for managing your estate and carrying out your wishes after your death (your executors). It’s important that you nominate people whose integrity you completely trust and who are capable of managing what can be a stressful process at times. Due to the responsibility placed on them, it’s advisable that you check that they are happy to act on your behalf before you nominate them in your will.

Once it has been written

After your will has been written, you should review it every five years, or sooner if you go through any major life changes (for example, getting divorced, having children or grandchildren, or moving house). You should make sure you keep your will in a safe place and be sure to let your executors know where to find the original version.

How to get started

You can write a will yourself, but it usually makes sense to get legal advice to make sure that the will is legally binding and that your wishes will be followed correctly. It doesn’t cost much and there are a number of providers that can help.

Your local family solicitors can often be a good place to start, however, be clear on what the costs will be before you engage them as they can be anywhere between £99 and £1,000+ depending on the solicitor and the complexity of your estate. You can find a list of local solicitors that specialise in wills on the Law Society website.

For anyone with relatively straightforward wishes, it is becoming increasingly popular to create a legally binding will online. There are a number of very highly rated online services that allow you to do this in a cost efficient manner, from the comfort of your own home – before simply printing and signing the document.

Two reputable online providers out there include Beyond (Trustpilot rating of 9.7 out of 10) and Farewill (Trustpilot rating of 9.6 out of 10). They both charge £90 for a single will, with Beyond charging £135 for a joint will and Farewill, £140.

If you’re interested in getting started today, Beyond are offering an exclusive 15% discount to Rest Less members, which brings the cost of a single will down to just £76.50 and two partner wills to just £114.75. Simply use code REST15 at the checkout.

However you choose to create or update your will, the important thing is that you do so. None of us like to think about dying, and with ever increasing life expectancy, most of us can look forward to decades of active years ahead. But the time and cost of creating one is almost always a small price to pay for peace of mind, and to avoid having that nagging feeling hanging over you.

For more information on writing a will you can visit the Government website.

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When we set out to build Rest Less Money, we wanted to be a trusted place where you could find helpful information about financial matters affecting the over 50s. As a free to use resource, we try hard to provide the best information we can, but we cannot guarantee that we won’t occasionally make mistakes. So please note that you use the information on our site at your own risk, and we can’t accept liability if things go wrong.

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Accuracy of Information – We try to make sure that all the information provided on Rest Less Money is correct at the time of publishing as we want it to be the most helpful resource possible. Sadly, we are not perfect however, and so we can make no guarantees as to the completeness, accuracy, adequacy or suitability of the information available on the site.
Whilst we work hard to try and provide accurate information, deals and prices can change, so whilst they may be correct at the time of writing, providers may subsequently decide to alter them later – so always double check first.

A final note on the Rest Less Community Forums – always remember that anyone can post their opinion on the Rest Less Community Forums, so it can be very different from our own opinion and may not be factual or well researched. Always be wary of any content posted on the forums and be sure to do your own research and due diligence on anything suggested. 

We hope you find Rest Less Money a useful resource and we would welcome your feedback at [email protected] on how to make it even better. For more information on any of the above you can read our full terms and conditions.

Some important information about Rest Less Money

We want you to understand the positives, but also the limitations of using our site. We operate in a journalistic manner and therefore all information, guidance or suggestions provided are intended to be general in nature, and you should not rely on any of the information on the site in connection with the making of any financial decision.

When we set out to build Rest Less Money, we wanted to be a trusted place where you could find helpful information about financial matters affecting the over 50s. As a free to use resource, we try hard to provide the best information we can, but we cannot guarantee that we won’t occasionally make mistakes. So please note that you use the information on our site at your own risk, and we can’t accept liability if things go wrong.

Key things to remember when using Rest Less Money:

We do not offer financial advice – As a journalistic site, it’s important to know that we do not provide financial advice. You should always do your own research before choosing any financial product so that you can be certain it is right for you and your specific circumstances. If you are in any doubt, please seek professional financial advice from a regulated financial advisor.

No Liability – please note that you use the information on Rest Less Money at your own risk and we can’t accept liability for how you choose to use the information given on our site. We will often provide links to content or products and services available on other third-party websites. These are provided purely for your convenience and we cannot be held responsible for any content, or any of the products and services offered on any website that we link to.

 

Accuracy of Information – We try to make sure that all the information provided on Rest Less Money is correct at the time of publishing as we want it to be the most helpful resource possible. Sadly, we are not perfect however, and so we can make no guarantees as to the completeness, accuracy, adequacy or suitability of the information available on the site.
Whilst we work hard to try and provide accurate information, deals and prices can change, so whilst they may be correct at the time of writing, providers may subsequently decide to alter them later – so always double check first.

A final note on the Rest Less Community Forums – always remember that anyone can post their opinion on the Rest Less Community Forums, so it can be very different from our own opinion and may not be factual or well researched. Always be wary of any content posted on the forums and be sure to do your own research and due diligence on anything suggested. 

We hope you find Rest Less Money a useful resource and we would welcome your feedback at [email protected] on how to make it even better. For more information on any of the above you can read our full terms and conditions.

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