If you’re a homeowner of any type, then you should probably have a Will written so your property assets are passed onto the ‘right’ people after your tragic demise (sorry to be crude).
I’ve been a property owner – both residential and BTL – for over a decade, and I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve only just gotten around to Writing my Will. But don’t use my negligence as inspiration, because I’m a disgrace.
It’s NEVER been easier, quicker or cheaper to get a professional Will sorted. So do it if you haven’t done so already. Here’s how…
My reluctance to organise a Will & Testament
So, even though I’m in my
early 20’s early 30’s, which by all intents and purposes is young for an impeccably healthy individual (minus a dodgy finger, but more on that shortly) to be fluttering around the idea of death, it does seem like the sensible move considering I do own appreciating ‘assets’, and even the optimist in me isn’t deluded enough to deny the possibility of tripping over my obscenely gigantic pecker and knocking my lights out. What a way to go.
From what I understand, the Grim Reaper does not discriminate and has no conception of time. Regardless of age, race, gender, faith, or penis size – and even if your faith allows you to be reborn as a cactus – one thing is for sure, when it happens we won’t be carrying over the junk we’ve accumulated in this life to the next.
As amusing as it would be to do a disappearing act before creating a blueprint of how I want my assets distributed, so I can appear down on the self-appointed beneficiaries squabble over my life’s work, I think it will probably do more harm than good, especially since ‘the law’ gets to dictate who gets what if I don’t do it myself. Yeah, fuck that.
However, even while fully understanding and respecting the reality of uncompromising death, I’ve always been reluctant to plan for it. Planning for it feels like bad karma, and almost like I’d be jinxing myself into an early grave. But putting the Voodoo crap aside, I’ve also been too lazy to get it sorted; arranging a meeting with a will expert/solicitor and leaving the comfort of my parents’ basement always felt terribly overwhelming. That said, apparently I’m not alone, because I’m told seven out of ten landlords don’t prepare Wills and a whooping 97% of Brits don’t have a will or have one that’s outdated, which is thoroughly comforting. Communal failure is so much easier to accept, ain’t it?
Long story short, for the past few decades I’ve been prioritising everything else before thinking about what happens ‘after’.
Why I suddenly decided to get my will sorted…
One of my mate’s is ‘one of those’ Marketing guys; he exclusively deals with digital companies.
A couple of weeks ago he was informing me about a new client he’s ‘working on’ (I didn’t ask what that entails, and nor should you), an Online Will Writing service that allows you to create ‘professional’ Wills with in a jiffy for just £90. Apparently it’s the future, so he wants to ‘get in’ early.
For the first time [for totally selfish reasons], I found myself interested in his work. I didn’t really consider the grand possibility of creating a will online (not to be confused with generic downloadable templates) while remaining glued to my seat by the congealed remains of kebab grease, but I’m not terribly surprised it’s possible considering we live in a world where ordering toothpaste and toilet roll off Amazon is a thing.
Apparently a ‘typical lawyer’ charges a ‘one time’ fee of anywhere between £200 – £500 for a similar service, plus, however much you value the inconvenience of leaving your home to fulfil a rewardless ‘chore’.
My interest has been piqued.
Perhaps this is what finally convinced me.
Ok, so now, back onto my mutilated pinky.
Before you all FREAK OUT, I’m flipping fine. Jesus, no need to be all dramatic!
Well, actually, let’s just say I survived. And that’s all that matters.
As you can probably tell, I had a near-death experience [last week] when I stubbed my precious little finger on a basketball during a friendly game, which caused it to buckle and dislocate. The experience profoundly made me realise how fragile
I am life is. And wonderful; I had two nurses yank my bone back into place.
I hate to be a cliché cheeseball, but I’ve discovered a new found respect for life.
If my recent toe-curling and heart-breaking experience wasn’t a utterly terrifying reminder of how we are all vulnerable – even those in peak physical condition – then I don’t know what is.
My poor finger is a bloody catastrophe. Your prayers would be appreciated.
So, two very telling events all pointing in the same direction. This couldn’t have been any ol’ coincidence.
How I EASILY arranged a Will and Testament (and how you can, too)
After years of side-stepping and procrastinating, I finally did it. I don’t know what all the fuss was about!
Approximately an hour ago I jumped onto a Online Will Writing Services website I had sorted out my Will.
Using an online solution has been effortless.
Actually, it almost felt too effortless considering the magnitude of death, but I’ve been assured it’s legit. But then again, technically you can write your own will on your own ass, stuff it into a shoebox and slide it under your bed until it’s required. As long as it’s signed and witnessed, that’s one legally binding ass. Legit!
Online Will Writing service? I highly recommend.
Why am I sharing this?
A lot of my ‘financial assets’ is accounted for by my BTL properties (but not exclusively), and I imagine that’s also the case for many of you slumlords. We all need to eventually decide who we want to curse with our bullshit BTL’s.
In all seriousness, I don’t know if I would laugh or cry if I inherited a BTL. It’s like donating a pair of jeans that’s filled with skid-marks to the homeless.
Anyways, I’m assuming many of you are uglier, weaker and older than me, so you’ve probably already made suitable reservations. But for everyone else, which includes the seven out of ten landlords that statistically haven’t got round to it (for whatever reason), maybe this is the ticket you’ve been waiting for, an easy solution to getting a Will arranged.
During my due diligence, I came across a few online will companies that look particularly good. Feel free to check out my recommendations.
What happens to your Property & Assets if you don’t leave a will?
In true back-to-front fashion, I only looked into this AFTER I wrote mine. What a buffoon!
I ‘spose anyone with half a brain would have done the research first (even though it wouldn’t have changed the outcome). In any case, here are the basics:
Dying without a valid will is called ‘intestacy’. Intestacy law is different in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but there are some common rules:
- Any Inheritance Tax that your estate/beneficiaries has to pay might be higher.
- If you die with no living close relatives, your estate will be passed to the Crown. This law is known as ‘bona vacantia’.
- If you’re not married and not in a civil partnership, your partner is not legally entitled to anything when you die.
- If you have children or grandchildren, how much they are legally entitled to will depend on where you live in the UK. But if you make will, you can decide how much they each individually get.
To round off, if anyone does want to know more about wills, probate and inheritance, a good starting point is the Gov website.
Right, that’s me done.
If anyone decides to use an Online Will Writing Service or any other online will solution, please share your thoughts/experience!
Merry Christmas and season’s greetings everyone!!! Hope you all have an awesome break! See ya’ next ‘ear xoxo
P.s. I hope none of you die! Ever!
Disclaimer: I'm just a landlord blogger; I'm 100% not qualified to give legal or financial advice. I'm a doofus. Any information I share is my unqualified opinion, and should never be construed as professional legal or financial advice. You should definitely get advice from a qualified professional for any legal or financial matters. For more information, please read my full disclaimer.