I have a confession to make. It’s a biggie, as I have two children, now 19 and 12, and it doesn’t reflect well on me as a parent.
I have never made a will.
I’ve never had any assets you see, so it’s never felt like something I needed to do. This is stupid I know, as I have two children and should I die I have nothing in place in writing to specify what I want to happen to them. I have a life insurance policy and various pension pots too, but at no point have I managed to get everything together in one place and make a proper grown up plan.
Silly isn’t it?
It feels even sillier as I have always had a bit of a reputation in my family as ‘the organised one’, but I fear this is based more on the fact that I used to spend a lot of time colouring in revision timetables than on my ability to manage important things like finances.
What is it then that puts so many people off writing a will? Is it fear of facing the reality of death? Concerns about cost? Anxiety around how the process works? It’s probably a bit of each of these for me.
This year though I was determined to get my affairs in order and so turned to The Co-operative Legal Services to help me write my will.
I’ll admit that I was anxious at first about what would be involved – would it be horribly complicated? Would it take up loads of time? Would I look stupid asking all the questions I had no idea about the answers to? The answer, thankfully, to all of these questions, was no. The Co-operative’s will writing service couldn’t be simpler; in fact I didn’t even need to leave the house as the consultation is done over the phone.
Before my appointment, I was sent over a load of materials to help me think about what provisions I wanted to make. For me this was reasonably straightforward as I don’t have much to leave, but it prompted me to think about things like:
- The approximate worth of my assets and who I would like to inherit them.
- Any debts outstanding that would be deducted from this. (I was pleased to learn that if the value of your debts exceeds the assets, your children aren’t made to cough up.)
- Who I would like to appoint as an executor. (Choose someone who doesn’t mind a bit of paperwork.)
- Who I would like to take care of Belle should I die before she is 18. (Choose someone who doesn’t mind washing up and being shouted at a bit.)
The telephone consultation itself took just 15 minutes and my advisor made everything feel very straightforward. I didn’t feel like I was asking any silly questions and the whole process was really simple.
A draft of my will arrived quickly in the post. I was slightly disappointed that it wasn’t in scroll form, tied with dark red ribbon and sealed with wax, but I guess that’s modern times for you – no sense of drama. My Twitter followers were equally disappointed:
@mummyblogger as well as tea stained and burnt at the edges of course for extra authenticity!
— TheStayAtHomeMan (@StayAtHomeMan1) March 9, 2015
The final step was to have it witnessed and to send it back to take advantage of The Co-operative’s free storage service. I kept a copy, which I thought about hiding behind an oil painting of one of my ancestors, hung over my fireplace, but then I remembered that I didn’t have a fireplace and wasn’t in an Agatha Christie novel, so settled on a desk drawer.
Have you made a will? If not, what’s holding you back?
If you’d like to find out more about making a will with The Co-operative then check out their website or give them a call on 0330 606 1009. They offer free initial advice and a fixed price on most services. Feel free to tell them how you heard about them!
You can also watch my interview with the Head of Wills at The Co-operative, where I ask all of the questions that you might be worried about asking. This is the short version of the interview, but there is also a long one here.
I received the will writing service free of charge for the purposes of this collaboration with The Co-operative Legal Services.
I really need to do this!! x
It is a source of great pride to me that Greig and I made our wills last year (and we are usually quite flaky). With three young kids it really preyed on my mind that if (and when) we left them behind they might not have provision made for them. We also stipulated who would be the legal guardians to take care of them (with financial allowance set up for them) in the event of our deaths, as I hated the idea they might be split up and put into care. It’s stuff you don’t want to think about but should. xx
we really reallly need to make a wilL!
I would definitely want a scroll with wax seal, and a fireplace with water colour painting thrown in as part of the will writing service. Also, I would need to decide who to leave out of my will thanks to a dark family secret. I will ponder on that…
i’ve never even considered writing a will to be honest!
I really really need to get one done – may I ask roughly how much this would of cost? Can’t believe you can do it pretty much just over the phone – makes life easier for busy mums
When I had my chat with the Co-operative legal expert he said you would normally expect to pay £150 – £200. If you give them a call they should be able to give you an exact figure though?
I know I should have a will but when our solicitors quoted us £700+VAT EACH for our wills, I blanched and didn’t do it. I really, really, really will do it though. Next week. Or maybe the week after.
Blimey, that seems like A LOT! My understanding is that as a couple, you can get mirror wills, which makes it cheaper. I certainly don’t think The Co-op costs that much; they give some examples of pricing here – http://www.co-operativelegalservices.co.uk/making-a-will/understanding-the-costs/
WOW! That was too easy and simple.
I have always kept on thinking in my mind that, drafting a will would be a lot and lot of hectic work,
and what if I didn’t got the right consultant officers, in creating my will.
This act is really going to be done by my side, as they many little ones in the family. It would secure their
future and the relaxation would be there after getting this job done.
Thank you for making us aware of this topic. Really creating a will is not much hard consent from now.
Have a great time ahead.
Its a great share. I also got an idea of writing a will and securing the future of my kids.
Its a really awareness blog. Thanks a ton buddy!!
Must say a will should always be taken into account. Whether you own as little as 20 pence or whether you have a multi million pound real estate in your name, it is still very important to have a personalized, written will. When someone passes away, their possessions are given away according to their will. If you want your possessions to be distributed evenly by your choice, to whom you want, then it is of great importance that you write a will stating who you want to receive your possessions. No-one can tell the future, so it is very advisable to write a will.
Writing a will can be a really tough experience but with the right help it can be much easier! It’s important to make sure your loved ones are taken care of and know where you possessions will go if you pass. Thanks for sharing!
Don’t settle for cheap lawyers if you can afford to get a good one. It is smart to get the best if you need to.