The simple answer to this is no. No one is too young for a Will. As soon as you own something, technically speaking you should have a Will in place to say who should inherit that after you die.
I understand that when you are young, the last thing on your mind is writing a Will. You’ve got your whole life in front of you, so, thinking about growing old and death seems like another day’s problem.
However, after reading this blog, I hope your attitudes change. Yes, you should still go out and embrace life, but there are many reasons why you need to have preparations in place for when your time on this planet comes to an end.
Young people’s attitude to Wills – the facts
First things first, let’s look at the facts. Research has been carried out to see what young people’s attitudes are towards Wills. Shockingly only 9% of people aged between 16-25 have a Will, with 45% saying they intend to have a Will but thought they were too young.
Even more shockingly, when the same question was asked of people aged between 25-35 only 5% have a Will, with 43% saying again that they intend to but felt they weren’t old enough.
This is surprising. Whilst young people understand the importance and say that they will get around to writing down their wishes in a legal document, they are wrongly thinking that they are too young. The word needs to get out there!
It’s not just about money and assets
You may think that you don’t need a Will because you don’t have a great deal of money to your name or any assets e.g. a property that you own. But you may be worth more than you think. For example, if you work for a medium or large company, you may benefit from ‘Death in Service’, which could be a few multiples of your salary. Or they may pay for a Life Assurance Policy as part of your employment.
Personal items can also be included in a Will. So you can ensure that items that mean something to you are passed on to the right person. Personal items can be anything from ornaments, collectables, art etc.
A Will allows you to appoint executors, i.e. the person or people that will administer your estate. This is particularly important if you have elderly or ill parents that would not be able to manage following your death.
Further, if you have young children, a Will, is one of a few ways to appoint Guardians to take responsibility for your children. This is a legally binding appointment, to give you peace of mind.
What happens if you don’t have a Will
Have you ever wondered what happens if you don’t have a Will? Who gets to decide what happens to your money, assets and personal items? The law. Without a Will in place, it is down to the law to decide what should happen. These are called the Rules of Intestacy.
As you can imagine, this can cause a lot of upset for families, with family members falling out because they don’t agree with how the law has decided to deal with your possessions.
With you writing down your wishes, there is no confusion in what you want to happen and who is to benefit from what.
Save arguments within your family by having a Will. Yes, there is a cost involved, but surely the costs are worth avoiding family upset?
What is the minimum age for a Will?
The minimum age for writing a Will is 18, however, the law commission has advised that this should be lowered to 16.
At the age of 16, you can marry, join the army, leave school, consent to sexual activity, live alone and make your own medical decisions. With all this responsibility surely you should be allowed to write a legal document that says exactly your wishes when you pass away?
Who can be beneficiaries?
In most cases when an unmarried person without children dies without a Will, 9 times out of 10 assets will go to the parents. This may not be ideal, especially if they are receiving financial assistance from the Local Authority, for example.
There may be other people, charities or organisations that you would like to leave assets to. If this is the case plan ahead and include them in your Will, as they won’t be covered by current intestacy laws.
It is worth the money even if you’re penny-pinching.
I’ve touched on this point earlier on in the blog. There are costs involved with writing a Will. I understand that there are more exciting things to spend your money on, but I can’t stress enough that Wills are worth their cost.
Not only can having a Will in place avoid family fall outs, but you can also have peace of mind that your wishes after you have passed away will be dealt with.
As you get older, things will change in your life and a Will can be altered to reflect this. So there’s nothing to worry about when it comes to getting married, having children, owning a business etc.
If you would like to talk to me about the contents of this blog, please do not hesitate to get in touch, talking with me costs nothing and is no obligation: