What happens if I don’t make a Will?

The recent COVID pandemic has reminded many of us of the importance of having our affairs in order including ensuring our Wills are up to date.  On 2nd December 2020, the Law Society unveiled new research showing 7% of respondents made or updated their will during the first UK-wide coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown, but many have yet to put their affairs in order.

The survey was commissioned by the Law Society and took place just after the first lockdown restrictions began to ease. Over 1,000 members of the public took part.  The survey showed that 59%, nearly two thirds, of those surveyed did not have a Will at all.

The main reasons given for not making a Will were:

  • Not having anything of value to leave loved ones;
  • Not finding the time to make a Will; and
  • Thinking they were too young to make a Will.


“ I don’t have anything of value to leave”

Amongst other matters, Wills cover financial arrangements upon death.  As soon as you own anything you should consider making a Will even if you do not own substantial assets.  A Will allows your executors to encash assets and distribute your estate, no matter how small, in accordance with your wishes. 

If you have no Will in place the Intestacy Rules will apply, dictating how your estate should be divided and to whom.  This may mean that your partner (if unmarried) or children do not receive any inheritance. 

“I don’t have the time”

With modern technology instructions for Wills can be taken via video calls and then any further necessary discussions can be done via telephone or further video calls.  An initial appointment to take instructions is usually 1 hour so this could be done in your lunch hour or before/after work.  Wills are important documents setting out your wishes for when you die.  It is important to make time to ensure your wishes are in place.

“I am too young to make a Will”

Popular belief is that making a Will is for the older generation but when the younger generation are more likely to have dependents partners and children and financial commitments including loans and mortgages it is therefore just as important for younger people to make one.   As soon as you own anything you should be considering making a Will. 

For those with young families, in your Will you should appoint Guardians to care for your children until they become an adult.  Without a Will, the Intestacy Rules will apply and will not deal with guardianship of your children.  


If you wish to make a Will or discuss the above further, please speak with one of our friendly Life Planning team on 01904 624903 who will be able to help. 

Emma Hartley
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