We probably all understand that we should have a Will but the reality is that most of us don’t have one, especially younger people.
It’s important to understand what will happen to our estate if we die without a Will (intestate).
Making a Will is the only way to ensure that your wishes are carried out after your death. If you have not made a valid Will, your property will pass according to the Law of Intestacy. This may not be what you would have wished.
In any event it is likely to take longer to finalise than if you had made a Will. During this time your beneficiaries may not be able to draw any money from your estate. It can lead to arguments and distress for your relatives.
Here is some food for thought if you don’t have a Will.
IF YOU ARE SINGLE
You might want your estate divided amongst friends, relatives and charities of your choosing and in the proportions you want.
Amy Winehouse Didn’t Have a Will, But Did Have Many Millions
At the age of 27 and after having a hugely successful career from a very young age, no one advising Amy Winehouse thought it prudent to put in place some sensible steps that should she unexpectedly pass away her wishes for her fortune would be taken care of.
Without a will, you have no say about who inherits your legacy, and you also lose control over how and when they receive it. For example, did Amy Winehouse want her older brother, Alex, to inherit anything? He doesn’t, because she had no will.
In addition, wealthier individuals lose the ability to do estate-tax avoidance planning. For many families, probate court can often be a breeding ground for family fights, and this is especially true when there is no will.
Wills do not cost much to have prepared. No adult with any level of assets should be without one, especially someone with millions, no matter what their age. In fact, for most people a will is only the beginning of a comprehensive estate plan, but it’s a good start.