Wills: why they're important and why you need one – expert advice from chartered accountants Perrys
Planning for your final days can seem a morbid prospect as many of us don't like the idea of contemplating our own mortality. But making such arrangements are important – and there is nothing more key to such plans than having an up to date and legally sound will.
This is the document that will guide family and friends when dealing with your estate after your death, and ensures your wishes are carried out. At Perrys we always stress to our clients the importance of having a will and we are reiterating this call as figures reveal more than half of Londoners don't have one in place.
Data collected by unbiased.co.uk show 63% of people living in the capital – an estimated 3.9 million adults – don't have a will. Those without one said they are put off from writing one until they are older, or feel their estate is too small to warrant a legal executor.
These are alarming figures and worrying reasons as without a legal will your estate can end up being passed to the Government – rather than the loved ones you would like to see benefit. It also ensures your belongings go to the people you want them to, rather than those who would inherit them by default.
Current laws in England and Wales mean a surviving partner who wasn't married to, or in a civil partnership with, the deceased has no automatic right to inherit their estate and it will be shared equally between the deceased's children or their descendants. And if there are no blood relatives the estate will be passed to the Government.
A legally binding will can bypass these defaults – should that be your wish – and specify additional benefactors, such as charities, groups and societies.
No matter the size of your estate we would urge everyone who hasn't already got one to draft one and/or sit down with a professional to get a legal document drawn up.
Craig Harman, Perrys partner, says:
"The number of Londoners without a will is a scary statistic and one that is probably reflected across the country. It is terribly sad when a loved one dies, with family and friends being left to pick up the pieces.
"Having a will in place ensures they do not have to go through extra heartache or distress by having to organise and sort out your estate. And no matter your family arrangements before death, in the event of a family dispute these will not be enforceable without a legal written will in place."
The team at Perrys are on hand to offer advice and guidance when drawing up a will, and can act as executors on your behalf. For more information about making a will visit www.perrysaccountants.co.uk/literature and download our guide, or contact one of our offices.