I’ve just turned 21, why should I think about making a Will?
Turning 21 is a relatively significant age in a person’s life. Whilst legally, many things may not have changed since turning 18 (which is when you are able to make a Will), there may be important life events taking place where you should think twice about being “too young” to make a Will.
You may be in a position where you are looking at buying a property. Even though you may have a mortgage on the property, it is still an asset that forms part of your estate and would need to be dealt with.
It would also be prudent to make a Will if you are looking at buying a property with your partner, particularly if you are unmarried. Depending on how you would both choose to own the property, it may well be that your share in the property would not automatically pass to your partner. The laws of intestacy (whereby a person dies without leaving a Will) do not recognise a cohabiting partner, so any other assets that you may have which you assumed may pass to them would not.
Regardless of the size of your assets, it would be advisable to make a Will so that your wishes are ultimately recorded as to who should receive the benefit of them when you are no longer with us.
Did you know that under your Will, you have the power to appoint guardians? It is an awful thought to leave loved ones behind, but by making a Will, you can record who you would like to take care of your infant children in the event that both their parents die during their infanthood.
In the absence of a Will, provided that a person is unmarried and does not have children, their entire estate upon their death would be divided between their parents equally. This may not be what you would want to happen to your estate if your parents are separated and you have not had contact with one or both of them for quite some time.
Under a Will, you have ‘testamentary freedom’ to dictate what happens to your estate, and you can therefore leave your assets to whomever you choose. No one knows when their time will come to an end, but they can make provision for what is going to happen with their estates when it does, which would provide comfort to their loved ones at a difficult time. If you would like to make a Will, please contact a member of our Tax and Estate Planning department for advice or further information.