Six reasons why it is important for young people to have a Will

Although it is important for everyone to make sure that they have a Will in place, a Will has been stereotyped as something for ‘older people’ and is often not something that young people think about putting in place. Here are six reasons why it is important for young people to have a Will.

As someone in my mid-twenties, I had never considered putting a Will in place until I joined our Private Client team here at Thornton Jones Solicitors. However, as our twenties are full of significant life milestones, such as buying your first home, investing in a pension, and building a savings pot, a Will is something that we should all be thinking about regardless of our age.

Who will inherit my estate when I die?

When you pass away, everything you own is referred to as your Estate and a Will dictates how you wish for your Estate to be dealt with once you have passed away. Putting a Will in place is the only way to guarantee that what you want to happen actually does happen. Although you may be thinking that you do not have any assets and therefore maybe question “do I need a Will?”, your Estate includes all savings, car, property, and your personal possessions. In the absence of any Will, your Estate would pass in accordance with the Rules of Intestacy, and this might mean that your assets go to someone who you might not ordinarily have chosen.

What are the Executors of a Will and Why is it important that I Choose Who to Appoint as an Executor?

In a Will you appoint Executors. An Executor is a person (or persons as you may have more than one) who is responsible for administering your Estate and carrying out the wishes in your Will. They may need to apply for Probate too.

Being an Executor is not always an easy task so you should think carefully about who you would like to appoint to be your Executor. Having a Will, and being able to appoint Executors of your choosing, will give you the freedom to pick the people who you think will do the job best and, perhaps even more importantly, ensure that they are people that you trust.

It is important that you tell the person whom you have chosen to be Executor so that they accept the role and responsibilities of being Executor.

I’m unmarried. How do I provide for my Partner in the event of my Death?

Unfortunately, the Rules of Intestacy do not recognise unmarried partners or cohabiting partners and as such, under the Rules of Intestacy, unmarried couples will not inherit their partner’s assets.

This means that you could be a relationship with someone for several years and even share a house and children, but this does not entitle them to receive anything from your Estate when you die. If you wanted to leave anything to your partner, then it is imperative that you make a Will and include them as a beneficiary, to make sure that they are appropriately provided for once you have gone.

How do I appoint a Guardian for my Children?

It is possible in your Will to appoint guardians for your minor children and as young people, your children (if you have them) are probably going to be minors. Guardians are responsible for looking after your minor children until they are adults and such clauses usually come into effect once both parents have passed away. In the absence of any appointment of guardians, this can cause difficulties and disagreements between family members, especially with the increased number of young people with divorced or separated parents, it can get very complex! Appointing guardians will clearly show who you wish to look after your children if both parents are deceased.

It Is Possible to Future Proof Wills

It is recommended that you review and possibly update your Will every three to five years and also whenever your circumstances change. Sometimes young people can be put off making a Will as they are planning to have more children and think they would not be included in the Will. However, with the right wording, it is possible to future proof your Will and leave your Estate to future children and grandchild, including any unborn children. As such, this can avoid the need to update your Wills every time you have another child, although you should still make sure to review them regularly!

How does a Will provide Peace of Mind?

Finally, and in my opinion most importantly, putting a Will in place offers you peace of mind. Although it is not the most uplifting of conversation topics, it is a reality and once your Will is finalised and signed, a weight will be lifted.

What are the Rules of Intestacy?

If you pass away without a valid Will, the Rules of Intestacy dictate whom of your family members will inherit and in what order.

What is a beneficiary of a Will?

A beneficiary in a Will is a person (or sometimes an organisation or charity) who is entitled to some benefit from the Estate of the person who has passed away.

What is a minor child?

In England and Wales, a minor is a person under the age of 18.

Must I name my children in my Will?

No, there is no requirement to specifically name your children in your Will.

How do I include my step-children in my Will?

Step-children would usually be named in a Will, but there are different ways to draft the Will to ensure that step-children are included. Our Private Client team will consider your individual circumstances and work out the best way to draft your Will.

If you don’t yet have a Will and wish to make one then speak to us about the best way to document your wishes.

Call us at any of our four offices to discuss further and to arrange an appointment.

☎️ Call our Wakefield office on 01924 290 029
☎️ Call our Garforth office on 0113 246 4423
☎️ Call our Ossett office on 01924 586 466
☎️ Call our Sherburn in Elmet office on 01977 350 500

About Fran Thomas

Francesca joined Thornton Jones Solicitors in August 2020 and has worked across various departments as part of her training contract. Having qualified as a solicitor in February 2023, she has now joined our Private Client Team.

In 2018, Francesca completed her history degree and then went on to complete the Law Conversion Course and Legal Practice Course and then trained with us. Francesca gained a lot of experience in the Private Client team during her training contract and worked alongside the Team with a variety of cases. She is now looking forward to building on that knowledge and expertise.

The content of this blog post is for information only and does not constitute formal legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Thornton Jones Solicitors Limited accepts no liability for any such reliance upon this content. Where the post includes links to external websites, Thornton Jones Solicitors Limited accepts no responsibility for the content of such sites. Any link to a third party website should not be construed as endorsement by Thornton Jones Solicitors Limited of any content, products or services which are outside our direct control.

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