It is estimated that around 76% of young adults aged between 18 to 34 do not have a Will. This is 40% less than their counterparts aged 55 and over. This is largely due to the younger generation being of the opinion that (a) they do not feel “old enough” to make a Will, (b) their estates are not of high enough value to justify making one and (c) the misconception that their estate would automatically go to the “right” person when they die.
Having a Will is important regardless of age or financial circumstance and allows an individual to take control of their estate and confirm what is to happen to (or who is to look after) their personal assets, business assets, children, and pets on death.
In Scotland, when an individual passes away without a Will, their estate will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy and the legal heir can often be someone who the deceased would not have anticipated. As such, having a Will in place ensures that an estate is distributed according to the deceased’s wishes and removes the possibility that someone else would inherit in place of the preferred beneficiary.
By writing a Will, one can also select who they would want their Executor to be; instead of having to rely on the court to appoint someone on their behalf, as would be the case on intestacy. As the Executor is the individual who will represent the deceased and finalise their estate when they are no longer here, it is important for an individual to choose their own Executor to ensure that it is someone that they trust. Similarly, if a young adult owns a business (or inherits part of a business), they can also carefully select a suitable individual to look after the business during the administration period, when writing a Will.
The care of young children and beloved pets are also an important consideration when making a Will. By having a Will in place, one can also confirm who they would like to appoint as Guardian to look after their children when they are no longer there. Having instructions written down often avoids a great deal of anguish and a familial conflict, in a time which is already very distressing. Similarly, instructions relating to the care of pets can be included to give peace of mind.
Once a Will has been made, it is beneficial to review at important milestones such as the purchase of the house, the birth of children, receiving an inheritance, marriage or divorce.
Should you wish any advice with regards to the drafting of a Will or an amendment to your current Will please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team who will be more than happy to assist.
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