Over the years , I have been asked by clients what will happen to their assets and family when they die.
There is not always a straightforward answer. It depends on your “domicile”, where you are resident when you die, where the assets are based, where the heirs live and their domicile, as well as which legal jurisdiction presides over what.
That said, for people living in Common Law jurisdictions such as the UK, with all their assets and family members living here, there is some irony when asking about what will happen as they have the freedom to decide for themselves (within reason). They can write a Will.
However, the fact that people can write a Will does not mean that they do. So here are some of the reasons I hear when I ask why.
1. “Too busy” and will do it later
- But WHEN will this be?
- Best not to leave it too late
- As the unexpected can happen.
2. “Nothing to leave”
- Except a problem perhaps?
- Or you may be surprised once you add things up!
- No matter how large or small your estate, what do you wish your legacy to be?
3. “My situation is simple”
- Excellent. So make it simple for your heirs too
- If there is no Will, do you and your family understand how Intestacy laws will deal with the administration of your estate?
- Rather than spend time studying Intestacy rules and revisions, why not just write a will?
4. “Costs too much”
- Though a lawyer is recommended, it is not a legal requirement, and it does not have to cost the earth.
- If you wish to write your own Will, make sure you are confident that it will work. Mistakes can mean the Will may fail to accomplish what you want.
- Preparing yourself properly in advance of meeting will save time and expense.
5. “I am not sure of the future”
- Precisely, though some things are certain
- Wills can be updated over time to reflect your changing circumstances
- Intestacy laws are not regularly updated.
So, what is your reason?
If you would like some simple guidelines or help getting started, do get in touch.