Don’t sleep on it !

Feet under duvet in bed

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.

You might want your estate divided amongst friends, relatives and charities of your choosing and in the proportions you want.

Amy Winehouse died intestate

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.


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Do I need a Will ?

Caring family down syndrone

Four reasons why you need a Will.

  • A Will makes it much easier for your family or friends to sort everything out when you die – without a Will the process can be more time consuming and stressful.
  • If you don’t write a Will, everything you own will be shared out in a standard way defined by the law – which isn’t always the way you might want.
  • A Will can help reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax that might be payable on the value of the property and money you leave behind.
  • Writing a Will is especially important if you have children or other family who depend on you financially, or if you want to leave something to people outside your immediate family.

If you are over 18 you should have a Will. If you are young and single then a basic Will is probably fine.  Please, why not use our Basic Will form below and you will have a professionally prepared Will for very little cost.


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A Will becomes more important as you get older and take on more responsibilities. Your Will should always be reviewed and amended as you progress through life and your circumstances change.

If you are in a relationship such as married, civil partnership or unmarried couple then consider  Mirror Wills. These are  virtually identical Wills where one member of the couple leaves their estate to other in the event of their death.


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What is a Will ?

Your will tells people two very important things:

  • Who should have your money, property and possessions when you die.
  • Who will be in charge of organising your estate and following the instructions you leave in your Will – this person is called your ‘executor’, and you can name more than one person if you want to.

You can also use your will to tell people about any other wishes you have, like instructions for your burial or cremation.

You can appoint executors  will do their best to make sure your wishes are followed, as long as they don’t involve breaking the law. Although it might not always be possible for the executors to carry out your instructions.  For example, a person you want to leave something to might die before you do, but if you have a Will there’s a better chance of things happening the way you want.

A Will has to be legally valid. Your will doesn’t have to be on special paper or use a lot of legal language.

A document is a valid will as long as it:

  • Says how your estate should be shared out when you die.
  • Was made when you were able to make your own decisions and you weren’t put under pressure about who to leave things to.
  • Is signed and dated by you in the presence of two adult, independent witnesses, and then signed by the two witnesses in your presence – the witnesses can’t be people who are going to inherit anything from you (or their husband/wife or civil partner )

Oakwood Estate Planning Ltd  can advise and guide you as to the best options for you. Get in touch today and it’s sorted.