When I bought my first property at 25 (obviously only 2 years ago), my solicitor asked me if I had or wanted a will. I declined – I had spent 4 years saving everything for that property, and spending a few extra hundred on a will at my age was out of the question. Also - the flat was the only real asset I had, which surely would be left to my Mum or family if I died?
When my daughter was born in 2019, again the idea of a will came up – and again, the home we were living in at that time was owned fully by me, so what was the need? My property would fall to my daughter and her and my partner would be ok.
Fast forward to 2022 – I have another baby on the way, my partner and I live in a home we own together, and my daughter is 3.
Suddenly the stakes seem much higher.
Our office is a young and dynamic one – most are property owners or soon-to-be property owners, and most are considering starting families if they havn’t already. And guess what? Until recently NONE of us had wills.
I knew we had to do something – so we called in Jamie from Soteria Planning to come and give a talk to the team on the importance of a will.
It was an eye-opening hour, and until then I had considered myself financially savvy. I felt I had always done well in protecting and setting up the life I had – but suddenly, it was clear mine and my family's position was wide open!
Here are the things I learned that scared me enough to write a blog:
- Do you know how your property is owned? Jointly, or as tenants in common? One means the property will automatically pass….the other does not!!
- Leaving property and belongings to your partner does not protect your children. HE’LL RE-MARRY HONEY! Make sure your children are protected.
- Power of attorney is not just for the old. Accidents happen at all ages, and if you are medically incapacitated and you do not have a power of attorney in place – the doctors will make the decisions. Not always a bad thing, but you may have specific requests over quality of life.
- If you lose mental capacity without a will, all joint accounts will be frozen, and resolving access to things like this could take months.
- Life insurance pay outs need to be put in trust in order for them to be accessed quicker on death, and not be taxed to the people who benefit.
We’ve sadly experienced this on the other side a few times in the last year – where we’ve lost clients. We have been unable to continue to pay over rent to the remaining spouse until proof of a will is provided, or because the property is not owned jointly. That’s not a nice conversation to have, to limit income at a time when it might well be needed.
Are you covered?
If you’re not – get in touch with Soteria Planning using this link:
Soteria have extended a discounted amount of 25% off their services to our team here, and are offering this anyone connected with Paramount until the 9th of December.
Can you afford not to?