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I'm too young to need a will

by Sherron Alexander-Bedingfield | Sep 30, 2016
  • I am often told, “I don’t need a will; I have nothing to leave to anyone”. Naturally, my response is always that everyone over the age of 18 should have a will. Why? Because, it makes life so much easier for those left behind.

    Having a will cuts out a lot of the bickering and arguments between family/friends during a time when emotions are running high and people are grieving. However, the reality is that those aged between 18 and 30 are unlikely to have a will in place.

    Assets have fundamentally changed

    The assets of this generation are limited to say the least! Most do not have savings, rather student loans. Their assets have little, if any, monetary value, are often held “in the cloud” and in digital formats. Questions also arise as to whether the digital asset is actually owned by them and thus capable of being included in a will.

    However, the “emotional value” of the asset, can be high. Photos, videos and blogs held on the ever-increasing array of social media accounts can provide comfort to friends and family who are trying to hold onto memories. There may even be some cash value in  domain names, produced music or unpublished articles held.

    Intestacy rules are often unideal

    Where there is no valid will in existence, the intestacy rules dictate who will receive any such benefit, monetary, emotional or otherwise. So it is important that an understanding of the laws that govern the distribution of an intestate estate are fully understood. This can become more complicated where families are blended and the young adult lives with step-parents and the relationship with the birth parent has broken down.

    This is because the intestacy rules provide that the estate would be shared between parents. This is regardless of whether or not the deceased had relationship with his parents.  So it is possible that an absent mother/father can inherit from their child, even if they had little or no contact with them.

    A note on modern day family structures

    If you live in modern day family structures that are blended, with separated, cohabiting parents or second marriages. It is especially important that not only the parent, but also any young adults think about who will inherit under their estate.

    You can read more about the complexities of modern family structures and estates here. For any wills-related advice give me a call on +44 (0) 20 7759 5531 or send me an email.

    We are a professional services company that specialises in cross-border financial and immigration advice and solutions.

    Our teams in the UK, South Africa and Australia can ensure that when you decide to move overseas, invest offshore or expand your business internationally, you’ll do so with the backing of experienced local experts.

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