Famously Benjamin Disraeli is said to have uttered the lines “there are lies, damn lies and statistics”. Is this true? In the case of death, we can say with 100% certainty that we will all die. The statistic is undisputed. Why then are so many of us reluctant to broach this subject?
Often, we do all we can to protect our loved ones whilst we are living but fail to plan ahead to when we are not around to care for them after our death. Many of us, only address our own mortality when confronted with the death or terminal illness of a loved one, or during our later years. Many leave it very late in the day.
Shockingly, it is estimated that as many as 30 million adults in the UK die without a will. We have nothing to leave! The law will do the right thing! However, statistics show that it is not just those who have little to leave that don’t make wills: Bob Marley, Amy Whitehouse, Prince and Aretha Franklin have all famously died without a will leaving the family to fight it out, often publicly, through the courts at great cost financially and emotionally.
Conversations about your wishes after death mean the family know what you want when you die. However, this is not enough. To ensure your wishes are honoured you need a legally valid will: only this can properly record your wishes so that they can be effected. Sadly, even then, there is no one hundred percent guarantee that those wishes will be honoured. There is a rise in family members being excluded from benefit or unhappy with their lot and willing to fight it all the way. Blended families and family fallouts are fertile ground for this. Disputes come at huge cost in terms of time, money and often health of those on both sides. By addressing this early and taking proper legal advice, the risk of this should be minimised.
At BrumYODO we highly recommend starting conversations as early as possible about all aspects of death and dying: making a will is only part of the wider conversations.