They say that only the good die young and that’s certainly supported by statistics with the average life expectancy in the Westcountry 83 years for women and 80 years for men. But a report to the House of Commons last year indicated a rise in mortality rates since 2012 for 15-34-year-olds.
Many young people may not consider it important to make a Will. They might not own a house, have a partner or children or much in the way of assets, but there are still important reasons why a Will is relevant, according to Lucy Atwill who heads up the Wills and Probate Department of Curtis Whiteford Crocker.
If you die in your 20s without a Will, it will be your nearest living relative who will administer your estate (probably parents) and who will inherit any assets.
You may not own property but you could have assets and items you want to go to specific people. If you’re not married or in a civil partnership, a boyfriend, girlfriend or someone you are engaged to is not entitled under intestacy rules to receive anything.
There may be items of sentiment value – a signed photo of a favourite actor, jewellery, a special book – which you want a particular person to have. A carefully drafted Will can be accompanied by a letter directing who should receive your most prized possessions.
You can also use a Will to share your funeral wishes – whether you want to be buried or cremated, what music you want played and if you want donations to a particular charity. You can also decide what should happen to any digital assets – social media accounts, online photos – if you die.
Unless you are a sailor at sea or a soldier, you have to wait until 18 to make a Will. But it’s a sensible idea to set the wheels in motion and review your Will regularly as your circumstances change.
Lucy Atwill heads up the Wills and Probate department of Curtis Whiteford Crocker, with offices in Plymouth, Tavistock and Torpoint.