Reaching the age of 50 can feel daunting, with understandable thoughts about a life where you’re not around. In this article, we’re going to discuss whether it’s too late to write a Will at 50 years of age.
Are you reaching the age of 50 and worried about what the future has to hold? You aren’t alone with your concerns.
We’re here to tell you it’s not too late to plan for the future and write a Will. It’s actually the perfect time to do it, and doing so helps to ensure your final wishes are heard.
When you pass away, the executor or administrator will need to apply for probate, and in situations where there is no Will, this can become more complicated with the possibility of contentious probate arising. If this isn’t a prime reason why writing a Will at 50 isn’t too late, then keep reading to find out more…
Why do People Put Off Writing a Will?
People put off writing Wills for all sorts of reasons, anything from thinking you have years to do it to not wanting to think about your inevitable death. Some common reasons include:
They Think They Have Time
It is easy to presume that you have all the time in the world when it comes to writing a Will, but life can be so unexpected, and death can sadly happen at any point.
Currently, the leading cause of death globally is ischaemic heart disease, according to statistics acquired by the World Health Organisation (WHO). It actually causes 16% of the world’s total deaths, which can cause a heart attack to happen at any stage of an individual’s life.
Considering the shocking nature of these situations, being prepared by having all your ducks in a row before anything of this nature may occur is paramount.
They Don’t Want to Think About Death
Sometimes, people find the discussion of death challenging and upsetting, and avoid it at all costs. This can often lead to them putting off writing their Will, sometimes until they are ready or often until it is too late.
When someone dies without one, this leads to the deceased person being officially known as an intestate person, where their estate will be distributed under the rules of intestacy. This can cause trouble for family members down the line who may feel they are owed part of the estate.
They Don’t Have the Money
Plenty of people choose not to write a Will because of the cost of doing so. That said, it is an investment worth making and, realistically, it doesn’t have to cost too much money.
There are ways to create a Will for cheaper, including drafting an online Will or finding a reasonably priced solicitor who offers fixed fees.
Why is Writing a Will in your 50s Important?
There are many reasons why writing a Will in your 50s and, more prominently, any stage of your life is incredibly important to do. Research set out by Legal and General found that a shocking 65% of 45 to 54 year olds don’t have a Will in place.
Some examples of why you should write a Will in your 50s includes:
You Can Name your Children’s Guardian
If you have children under the age of 18, they will need a legal guardian if you and any other person with parental responsibility are no longer around to take care of them.
It allows you to have a say in what happens and ensure that the person who will be responsible for caring for your child is someone you trust and who you know will have their best interests at heart. Without a guardian clearly set out in a Will, the court will be responsible for making the decision.
You Have a Choice in Who Inherits Your Fortune
Dying intestate means that only certain individuals will be able to benefit from your estate, and they may not necessarily be the people who you want to inherit. There may instead be friends that you wanted to leave your fortune to who would not be eligible if you die intestate.
Lowers the Chance of Contentious Probate
When someone dies without a Will, it is quite common for arguments to occur between family members, known as contentious probate or inheritance disputes.
When you write a Will, there is less of a chance that contentious probate will occur because beneficiaries can see their loved one’s wishes clearly set out. This, however, doesn’t mean that contentious probate won’t occur; it may just limit the chance.
When Should you Update Your Will?
In addition to the sheer importance of writing a Will, it’s also crucial to update your Will frequently throughout your lifetime.
Generally, experts recommend updating your Will every five years or when you experience a significant life change. Examples of a major life change where updating your Will is crucial include:
- Having a child
- Moving home
- If the Will’s executor dies
There is No Upper Age Limit to Making a Will
When it comes to writing a Will for the future after you pass, there is no upper age limit. So long as you are of sound mind, you can write a Will at any point of your life, but this doesn’t mean you should leave it until you are older.
What we can determine from this article is that you shouldn’t wait until the last moment, because you never know when you might pass away or become incapacitated so you’re unable to make decisions for yourself.
Have you written your Will yet? Don’t leave it until it is too late.
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