Date published: 12th April 2021

Chris says that, ‘People we talk to give different reasons why they don’t create a Will.  In short, the future seems like a long way away and they are generally just trying to manage what’s in front of them today.  However, as the last year has shown, unexpected circumstances can come out of nowhere and bring the previously un-thinkable into a stark and current reality.  At this point not having an up to date Will can be a real problem.’

If you don’t have a Will yourself or are concerned that a partner or family friend doesn’t, why not find out where you stand?

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If you’d like to find out a bit more before you call, why not read Chris’ thoughts below?  Here he gives us some insight in to why having a Will matters so much.  

Many people make the mistake of thinking that their family will automatically inherit their possessions when they pass away.  Without making a Will, you need to remember that this may not automatically happen. Your money and possessions may not go to the people you want to receive them, if you do not have a valid and up to date Will.

The fact is that if you die without a valid Will then something called ‘intestacy rules’ will be applied, and it is these that will dictate how your estate must be shared on your death. The problem with intestacy rules is that they probably won’t suit your individual circumstances. Having a Will however ensures that the assets in your estate pass to the people you want them to, giving your surviving family and loved ones an important element of certainty.


Appointing executors & probate

One of the features of making a Will is that you’ll need to appoint executors to administer your estate. The role of the executor is to administer the probate process,  which means they will gather your assets and pay your liabilities.  When this is complete, they will distribute your estate in accordance with the terms of your Will. If you do not have a valid Will and appoint someone you trust to be your executor, then the people who end up administering your estate will, by default, be determined by the intestacy rules.  They may not always be the most appropriate person.

Keeping Wills up to date

This brings me to the importance of updating your Will.  Some of us can live quite complicated lives.  Your priorities at one time in your life may not be the same at a later point.  By updating your Will, you update what and, importantly, who matters to you.  So, updating your Will is something that you should re-visit at different points in your life. It’s an opportunity to adjust what the Will contains so it really does what you want it to, when you need it to. 


Gifting specific items in a Will

Another feature of a Will is that it allows you to gift specific items to specific people. Some people like to do this if they had a common interest with a friend, or if a particular object has sentimental value, that only a certain family member would appreciate.  Without making a Will, you cannot guarantee that valuable things in your life go to the people you want them to.


Looking after young ones using Trusts

Trusts are generally used when the immediate circumstances mean that it might not be appropriate to leave something to a beneficiary until they are capable of making the most of it.  For example, you may use a trust to manage a cash sum for a few years until each of your children, reach a certain age. A trust can also be used to look after vulnerable beneficiaries, or to allow trustees to make decisions about how assets can benefit the beneficiary.

Alternatively, you may wish to strike a balance between providing for your partner, but ultimately ensuring that your estate passes to your children. With an appropriate trust in your Will, you could easily do this.


Everyone’s circumstances change throughout their lives, which is why some people benefit from making a Will checklist.  This is something we do for our clients, to see what conditions they want their Will to establish.  These conditions can then help establish who gets what and when, even if someone has not been able to update their Will. 

Whatever your situation, you’re better off making a Will than leaving it to chance. If you take control of your situation today, your friends and loved ones will know where they stand tomorrow. 

If you think the time is right to make your first Will or update an existing one, why not Contact our Wills, Trusts & Probate team & book a free appointment?

Call us free from either a mobile or landline on 0151 282 1700

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