MSE Poll: Do you have a will? If not, why not?

MSE_Petar MSE Staff Posts: 313
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MSE Staff
Poll started 9 March 2021

If you want to dictate where your assets go when you die, you need a will – a legal document telling everyone what should happen to your money, possessions and property. Wills can be made cheaply, and sometimes for free (see our Cheap Wills guide). But do you have a will, and if not, why not?

Click here to vote in the poll

Did you vote? Are you surprised at the results so far? Have your say below.
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  • Grabs39
    Grabs39 Forumite Posts: 364
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    edited 9 March 2021 at 9:06PM
    No, I'm not sure that I need one.  I'm married with no children.  Own the house as Joint Tenants, and the Life Insurance, any money in the bank and the Pension would go to my wife.
  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Forumite Posts: 14,809
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    Grabs39 said:
    No, I'm not sure that I need one.  I'm married with no children.  Own the house as Joint Tenants, and the Life Insurance, any money in the bank and the Pension would go to my wife.
    And what would you want to happen to your estate if you both died together in an accident? 
  • chocaholicmanc
    chocaholicmanc Forumite Posts: 63
    Tenth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Whilst my husband and I have no children, or plans for children, we have a will. Basically splits everything between our existing niece and my sister (any future children she has). Also specifies who gets the odd sentimental item and jewellery. Dealing with an estate with no will is hard work, even for simple things, so we decided it was worth getting one. And we did it via WillAid so feel like we helped out too. Hopefully, it won't be needed for a LONG time!
  • ginger_chocolate
    ginger_chocolate Forumite Posts: 284
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Posts
    I only made one a couple of years ago after I bought a house with my partner. I never really saw the point as a single person in my twenties whose worldly possessions  basically amounted to a pile of  scratched CDs and a pair of ancient Levis.
  • blue.peter
    blue.peter Forumite Posts: 1,062
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    edited 10 March 2021 at 10:43AM
    I have one, but it's over 30 years old and definitely out of date. The problem that I have is that I really don't know how I want my estate distributed.

    I'm in my early 60s and have no spouse or any children of my own. When I wrote my will, I had four nephews and nieces. My will distributes my estate equally amongst them. They were then all under the age of 10. Since then, three more have been born. The youngest is now in his early 20s.

    As they've grown up, some relationships have developed, whilst others haven't. I only see a couple of my nieces very rarely, and hardly know them. I now have a few great-niblings, too. A couple of my nephews are in *very* well-paid jobs, and so can hardly be said to have any need of an inheritance. Their sister, on the other hand, does a job that she loves, but which doesn't pay at all well. And she's a particularly nice person. And then there are their two younger cousins - one still at university, one just graduated.

    The only distribution that would keep my sisters happy would be equal shares to all seven. But I am sure that I don't want to do that. Beyond that, I don't know. I'm very tempted to give everything to no. 1 niece and nothing to her brothers or cousins. That would cause massive ructions. Obviously, I wouldn't be around to see it, but I'm sure that my niece would suffer from the pressure that would be exerted on her. I've been mulling this one over for several years, and still haven't reached any definite conclusion.

  • Bellisima
    Bellisima Forumite Posts: 147
    Seventh Anniversary 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    I made a will about 10 years ago.  My husband has grown up children but I have none.  We decided to leave our assets (a house) to his 3 children and my 3 siblings.  Making a will also helps your beneficiaries complete the Probate quickly and efficiently.  No will means it will be a longer, more expensive procedure for your executors.   Of course if there are no assets and everything is in joint names, then Probate won’t be necessary.
  • kezbabybabe
    kezbabybabe Forumite Posts: 732
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Photogenic
    We both have wills because we became homeowners in 2019, so it felt like the right thing to do, we're 38 and 46.

    On the other side of the coin, my mum passed away recently, and she had a will; this has meant that dealing with matters related to her passing and her estate is going much smoother.  My dad died suddenly when I was 15/16, with no will; therefore, it was a long time to sort out his estate, particularly as mum was a common-law wife, so funds went to other relatives as per the law, including his two kids from his previous marriage, even though he hadn't seen them for decades.

    Please consider getting one, even if you think you don't have much; it's more for those you leave behind to help them to process your estate/possessions after you've passed.
  • Emmia
    Emmia Forumite Posts: 2,266
    1,000 Posts Third Anniversary Photogenic Name Dropper
    edited 14 March 2021 at 9:22PM
    I've just redone my will - I did my first when I was in my early thirties, and an inheritance suddenly meant I had money that I'd want shared out.

    I did my second will at the end of last year, the first will was in any case invalid as I'd got married in the meantime and the lack of  a formal will bothered me - DH in any case gets the lot, but in the event of his demise at the same time as me, the money is divided between our neices and nephews (we have no kids).

    DH also made a will at the same time which is similar, but not identical as we had slightly different views on where to leave the cash.
  • cattie
    cattie Forumite Posts: 8,841
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    I have a will because with no partner & sadly the death of my only child, I don't want my only remaining relatives, whom I'm not close to, ending up with everthing when I pop off. I want my chosen charities to benefit plus a handful of good friends & a will seems the sensible way to make sure my wishes are known.
    The bigger the bargain, the better I feel.

    I should mention that there's only one of me, don't confuse me with others of the same name.
  • MattMattMattUK
    MattMattMattUK Forumite Posts: 7,251
    1,000 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    I have a will because otherwise everything would be a mess should I die. I am single and the majority my assets will go to my siblings, nieces and nephews.
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