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10 reasons to make a Will

Posted on 9 July 2014

Old or young, making a Will is a wise decision

Wills allow a person’s final wishes to be expressed clearly, such as how their estate - money, property and possessions - is shared out. Surprisingly more than half of Britons don’t have a Will.

People often put off making a Will until they’re in their 50s, but the reality is anyone aged over 18 can have one. Here are 10 reasons why should consider a writing a Will now, whatever your age.

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Source: flickr.com

1. No one knows what the future holds

Death is not something people like to think about, but no one can predict what will happen and when. That’s why making a Will is not just for the elderly or ill. It makes good sense to have one in place for the future – just in case the worst happens.

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Source: flickr.com

2. Without a Will, your estate may not go to the people you would have chosen

Many people assume that when they die, their estate automatically goes to their immediate family, but this isn’t always the case. If there’s no Will, their assets are distributed according to the law of intestacy and may not go to the people they would’ve chosen.

3. You decide what happens to your estate

With a Will you choose what happens to your estate and how it is distributed, instead of leaving it up to the law. When making a Will, think carefully about who you’d want to pass things on to.

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Source: flickr.com

 

4. You can leave specific things to loved ones

Are there heirlooms you’d like to pass on to your children? A Will lets you leave specific gifts (known as bequests) to individuals. These might include cash or cherished items such as jewellery.

5. You can leave something for people other than family

Aside from your family, you can also pass on something to friends. Many people also choose to leave gifts in their Will to charities.

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Source: flickr.com

6. You’ll prevent your money going to the wrong people

If you die without a Will and have no spouse or kids, your parents or siblings may inherit your estate, even if you'd prefer it to go to other people. Or, if when you die you are separated but not yet divorced, your ex could inherit some or all of your estate, even if that is not what you intended.

7. You can decide who will take care of your children

No parent wants to leave their children’s future to chance, but that’s what happens when someone dies without a Will. In this case, the court will appoint a guardian to care for children under 18 years old. By writing a Will, you can choose who you want to take care of your children. Many parents opt for making a joint Will to document their wishes.

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Source: flickr.com

8. You want to protect your unmarried partner

In the UK, unmarried partners (sometimes called "common law spouses") are not automatically entitled to inherit any of their partner’s estate, which means they could end up with nothing. Including an unmarried partner in a Will can ensure that they receive their fair share.

9. You’ll avoid family disputes

Without a Will to clear things up, there may be arguments over inheritance that can even end up with family contesting a Will through the courts. This can damage family relationships as well as causing delay. Making a Will now prevents a huge headache for your family when you’re not around.

10. You can choose who you want to sort out your Will

The person who manages your affairs after you die is called an executor, and should be someone you trust. If there isn’t a Will, your closest relatives have to apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration, an official document issued by the court that allows your relatives to administer your estate.

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Source: flickr.com

If you found this article useful, you might like to read our article on understanding probate or our simple Wills infographic exploring everything you need to know about Wills.

SunLife offers a range of straightforward and affordable products including over 50s life insurance, funeral plans, equity release, pet insurance, home insurance, car insurance, ISAs and Will writing services.

Here's the information that you need to know about who we are and the other companies that we work with in order to provide our products and services.

Who are SunLife?

Phoenix Life Limited trades as SunLife and is the provider of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, SunLife Insurance and the life insurance policy payment option for Funeral Plans. Phoenix Life Limited’s registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 1016269). 

SunLife Limited distributes financial products and services and is a company limited by shares, registered office: 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 05460862). SunLife Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 769427).

You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 1395, Peterborough, PE2 2TR or by phone on 0800 008 6060.

If you choose to add Funeral Benefit Option to your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services, registered office: 4 King Edwards Court, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP (registered in England and Wales, No. 00041598). Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services, registered office: 4 King Edwards Court, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP (registered in England and Wales, No. 00041598). Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

The life insurance policy that pays for your funeral will be provided by Phoenix Life Limited, trading as SunLife.

Who provides My Smarter (ISA)?

My Smarter (ISA) is provided by Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register, registration No. 188832. Member of The Investment Association. Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ.

Who provides the Will writing services?

Hugh James is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number:303202).

The information contained on this website is based on Hugh James' understanding of the law of intestacy in England and Wales only as at April 2014. The law in Scotland and Northern Ireland is significantly different. This is for information purposes and is not intended to be legal advice.

Who provides SunLife Pet Insurance

SunLife Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by BDML Connect Limited. BDML Connect Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 309140). Registered in England and Wales Number 02785540. Registered Office: 45 Westerham Road, Bessels Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2QB.

Who provides SunLife Home Insurance

SunLife Home Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.

Who provides SunLife Car Insurance

SunLife Car Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.