05 May 2022

Wills & Probate

Dying Matters Awareness Week – Why it’s never too early to start thinking about a Will

Talking about death can be a difficult topic to broach but Dying Matters Awareness Week is run each year to encourage people to have more open conversations about life coming to an end. This Dying Matters Awareness Week, Afonwy Howell-Pryce, an Associate Solicitor in our Wills and Probate team, explains why it’s not just older adults who should be writing their Wills.

With research showing that 70% of the UK population does not have an up-to-date Will, it may not be surprising that the younger generation takes up the highest proportion of this statistic. There is a common misconception that you do not need a Will until you are older and yet it’s extremely important as none of us know what the future holds so it’s best to be prepared.

Why is it important for young adults to write a Will?

Whilst most people focus on the financial aspects of having a Will, this is not the only reason to make one. They also can be used to put guardians in place for minor children if both parents pass away suddenly.

That is not to say that the financial aspects are less important. With the younger generation less likely to be married it is even more important to have a Will as partners do not inherit under the laws of intestacy (the laws that govern distribution of an estate where there is no Will.)

A Will is an important document at any stage in an adult’s life, especially once they own assets such as a house. Many people think, however, that if a person passes away, their partner will receive their estate, but this is not the case unless they are married. Usually, if a young adult dies while they are not married, their assets are passed on to their parents or siblings, which could leave their partner in financial trouble.

According to Farewill’s ‘The Year in Wills Report 2021’ last year alone saw a 23% rise in Generation Z customers. The research showed that this generation is six times more likely to pledge gifts to environmental charities and their funeral wishes were much more eco-conscious than those of the older generation.

The impact of Covid-19

Unsurprisingly, the pandemic saw a rise in Will writing across all age groups but it is clear that Covid-19 has also affected the way that those under 25 perceive the need for Wills. A survey commissioned by Legal & General found that more than 22% of respondents aged 16-24 strongly agreed that their perspectives on Wills had changed due to the pandemic and that 18% of young people who had updated their Will did so after falling ill with Covid-19.

The Digital Era

A large part of young people’s lives is all managed through electronic devices. Gone are the days when important documents were kept in a safe drawer in the house. Now, the majority of people use password-protected documents on their laptops to keep important information safe but this brings a new challenge when someone passes.

It’s a good idea to make an inventory containing your online assets, social media accounts, logins and passwords, and keep it updated.

How do I write a Will?

It is never too early to make a Will. As soon as you are 18 you are able to make one (although there are special rules surrounding the armed forces which is a blog for another day!) Your Will does not need to be complicated and our team of friendly lawyers can discuss with you your wishes and how to make them as straightforward as possible.

None of us knows what is around the corner, but by making a Will you are prepared for whatever the future holds. It is important to take the time to sit and reflect on who receives your estate. By doing this you are retaining the control and not allowing the law to decide for you.

If you would like to talk to one of our friendly, specialist team at Harding Evans in relation to writing or updating your Will, we have years of experience and can talk you through the whole process. Get in contact with us at hello@hevans.com or call us on 01633 244233 or 029 2267 6818.

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