Why Make a Will

7th June 2023


by Seema Solanki, Partner

Pre-COVID, various surveys showed that over half of the UK adult population does not have a valid, up-to-date and professionally prepared Will, including more than 10% of the over 75s. This suggests that many are still failing to look ahead and to plan how they can minimise administrative and financial difficulties for their loved ones when they are no longer around.


The statistics post-pandemic may be a little better but there are still many people for whom making a Will has not reached the top of the ‘to do’ list. Are you one of them? Are you prepared to take the time now to prepare for the future so that your family are protected?


If you do not make a Will, or you make your Will yourself and have not seen a professional who is specialised in this area of the law, there can be potential repercussions such as:


  • The Rules of Intestacy set out who is entitled to benefit from one’s estate if there is no valid Will. It might surprise you what the rules include. For example, if you are unmarried then your partner would not be entitled to benefit from your estate automatically and they would have to make a claim against your estate, which not only would incur significant costs but also add to the time it takes to deal with the estate administration. If you are married, it is not always the case that your spouse would receive everything from your estate – some of your assets might go to your children if you have them, depending on the value of your estate. For example, currently -, the first £270,000 would go to your spouse and then they would receive half of everything above that and all the personal possessions
  • There can often be problems with the validity of a Will, particularly if it has not been signed or witnessed correctly.
  • There is no opportunity to undertake any tax planning or mitigate Inheritance Tax.


There are many reasons why you should seek professional legal advice when it comes to making a Will. Perhaps the most powerful of these is that lawyers make more money from fixing problems that have arisen when people die intestate or with a home-prepared Will than they are ever likely to make from preparing a good professional Will in the first place.


As family structures become ever more complicated, the need to plan ahead and put your wishes in writing increases. Using a professional ensures that you are aware of any opportunities to save tax, pass on as much wealth as you can to the next generations, and that you minimise the chance of your Will being challenged in the future.


Contrary to superstition, making a Will is not going to result in a premature death and the best planners will make several Wills during their lifetime. You should also review your Will regularly as circumstances might change. Whether you marry, divorce, re-marry, have children, have grandchildren, or inherit assets from your parents – these are all trigger points which might cause you to review your Will, there are others too.


If making a Will is something you know you should do but have been putting off, the team at Fraser Dawbarns will be happy to help and to guide you through the process to give you and your loved ones’ peace of mind that your affairs are in order. Contact us on 01353 383483.


This article aims to supply general information, but it is not intended to constitute advice. Every effort is made to ensure that the law referred to is correct at the date of publication and to avoid any statement which may mislead. However, no duty of care is assumed to any person and no liability is accepted for any omission or inaccuracy. Always seek advice specific to your own circumstances.  Fraser Dawbarns LLP are always happy to provide such advice.

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*We are recommended for the following practice areas: Corporate and Commercial, Debt Recovery, Employment, Personal Injury: Claimant, Agriculture and Estates, Contentious Trusts and Probate, Family, Personal Tax, Trusts and Probate & Commercial Property.

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