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.