It would seem when it comes to planning, UK adults don't do it very well. In a post we published last year, we found that 53% of men (a whopping 3.9 million Dads!) in the UK with dependent children have no life insurance. It's pretty much the same bleak outcome when we look at Estate Planning.
59 per cent of adults across the UK have not written a will, leaving their final wishes in the hands of Government intestacy rules. (Unbiased, 2019)
If the ambiguity of it all doesn't leave you running to set up a will and sort out your estate, then nothing will.
What may make matters worse is another part of the research that could easily be glossed over. The age bracket most likely to have dependent children, only 32 per cent of Britons aged between 35 and 54 have written a will.
As you can see, it's of great importance to plan your estate in case something should happen. Two areas we want to shine a little more light on regarding Estate Planning are Guardianship and Family Structure. Estate Planning is so much more than planning who inherits your money.
Dying without a will can cause severe problems for your family, especially your children. You may need to read this twice: without a will, your children may immediately become the responsibility of social services*. By creating a will, parents can have control over the custody process. This gives you an opportunity to name somebody (who would be responsible for your children’s wellbeing), that you trust implicitly.
In 2017, there were 3.3 million cohabiting couples in the UK. (Office for National Statistics, 2018). The fast growing family structure in the UK is that of cohabiting partners, as more and more couples are choosing not to marry. Unfortunately, couples that aren’t married do not yet have the same legal protection as married couples. This can become even more complicated if one of the couple dies. Intestacy rules would again apply, meaning the surviving partner would not automatically inherit any of the deceased partner's estate.
We don't say any of this to scare you, only to make you aware of circumstances that can arise through doing nothing.
You may have decided by now that it's time to understand the basics of Estate Planning. If you would like to discuss your options, please give us a call on 01302 244 977.
*Different rules may well apply to those residing in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
Publish date: 8th May 2019