Make your milestone moment count

birthday cake

Only half the UK population have made a will and the majority said they had a significant reason for writing one. Can you guess what made them act? Here Will Aid campaign director Peter de Vena Franks looks at what which make people act.


Birthdays are for celebrating.

But a milestone moment can also make you realise how short and fragile life really is.

A recent poll by Will Aid discovered that landmark birthdays – turning 30,40, 50 – were the primary reason why people decided to make a will.

In fact, of those interviewed 20% listed this as the reason they made their first will.


Age matters


Psychiatrists claim the reason big birthdays force us to make big decisions is because certain ages can suddenly overwhelm us with an urge to find the meaning of life.

A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that 30,40 and 50 were particularly significant to some people and that people approaching these new decades were prone to making noteworthy changes.

“People audit the meaningfulness of their lives as they approach a new decade in chronological age,” said Adam Alter, lead author of the study from New York University and his colleague, Hal Hershfield of the University of California, Los Angeles

It seems we also think about providing for our friends, loved ones and causes close to our hearts at such points, reflecting not just on our past, but on our future too.


We all need a will


The truth is, how old you are should not be a major factor in deciding whether or not you should get a will.

And having a professionally drawn up will is the best way to help ensure your wishes are met.

You should never just assume that your assets will automatically pass to the people closest to you.


Some reasons why it's important to make a will:


1. Reassurance

A will is the best way to help ensure your savings and possessions (your estate) go to the people and causes that you care about.


2. Avoiding disputes

Disputes over wills can cause arguments among family members and may even need a solicitor to resolve them. Leaving a will should remove any doubt about how you want your estate dealt with.


3. Looking after your children

A will allows you to appoint legal guardians for your children.


4. Your funeral

Your will can be a way to let people know whether you would prefer to be buried or cremated, and the type of funeral service and music you would like.


An opportunity


During the month of November, a number of solicitors will be offering their time and skills to draft basic wills asking for a donation to charity instead of their usual fee.

So if you are still searching for a reason to get on with the paperwork, let Will Aid be it.