How old do you have to be to write a will?

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You’re never too young to get organised when it comes to protecting your assets

Nobody likes to dwell on morbid subjects like death, but when it comes to protecting your estate and providing for your loved ones in the event of your passing, it’s important not to ignore the inevitable. Creating a valid will that reflects your wishes is a key task that everyone should carry out at some point in their lives, but what is the right age to start thinking about your will?

In the UK, the average age for making a will is 58. But making a will is often not dictated by age. Instead, it can often be attributed to significant life events. From buying a house to getting married, our wills should adapt and change with our circumstances.

How old do you have to be to write a will?

You must be 18 years old or over to make a legally valid will in the UK. Exceptions to this threshold can be made if you are on active military service.

While most of us aren’t scrambling to write our wills the moment we turn 18, it’s important to be prepared, especially once you have significant assets worth protecting.  

Leaving home and buying property

Once you leave home, start working and become financially independent, you might want to think about who you would like to benefit from your assets. Dying without a will means that – if you aren’t married and don’t have children – your money will go to your parents, but you may wish to change this.

This becomes even more of a necessity when you buy your own property. It is usually the biggest purchase any one of us will make in our lifetime. And having a will in place is even more important if you share a home with someone else, as you’ll need to decide whether you own the property ‘jointly’ or as ‘tenants in common’, that’s because it will impact the division of your assets in the event that you die.

Getting married and getting divorced

When you enter a marriage or civil partnership, any existing will you have will be revoked, unless it was written in contemplation of said marriage/civil partnership. As such, you’ll want to create a new will that reflects your current wishes and circumstances. The same is also true if you get divorced. When you divorce, your old will is treated as though your ex-partner has died, meaning they won’t receive anything in the event of your death. However, you’ll want to create a new will that splits your assets as you wish, such as between your new spouse, your children and your stepchildren.

Children and grandchildren

When you have children, making a will becomes even more important, as it’s not only about dividing your assets, but also deciding who will look after your children if you pass away. A will allows you to provide for your children in every way. Similarly, many grandparents may wish to leave money or assets to their grandchildren through their will.

Whatever age you create your will, get the support you need

Will writing support is available for people from all walks of life and people of all ages. With the assistance of experts behind you, you can ensure that the agreement you create reflects your wishes, and is both transparent and iron clad. Head of Wills, Probate and Trusts at Winn Solicitors, Rebecca Harbron Gray, explains the importance of effective will writing, saying:

“Many people avoid writing a will and making plans for death for many years because they think it is a morbid or depressing process. But the truth is often that, once complete, people get a sense of comfort and relief from knowing that they have done all they can to protect and care for their nearest and dearest.

“At Winn Solicitors our team has decades of experience in this specialist field of law and we know how to make it simple and stress-free – no matter how complex your estate or family situation.”

With a dedicated team of legal specialists in settling affairs, Winn Solicitors can help you create a will that offers complete peace of mind and security for your family, no matter what the future holds. 

If you’re looking for expert will advice, get in touch with Winn Solicitors today.

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