There's a first time for everything

By Solicitor at 00:00

Providing the legal support for first time home buyers is an absolute pleasure. I meet people of all ages and at different stages of life who have decided to take that first step on the property ladder.

It often comes as somewhat of a surprise when I mention the word “Will” to them. The thrill of their property purchase takes the drivers seat as do discussions, or arguments as the case may be, on colour charts, wallpaper and what furniture to buy!

Many first time buyers are young couples at a very pivotal stage in their relationship, the property purchase is their next big step together and a Will is the last thing on their mind. But with one in six couples that live together being unmarried, we need to break down the misconception that Wills only need to be made in later life.

What is becoming increasingly apparent is how many young couples either avoid making a Will, or oppose a Will completely. We’ve all been there – young, carefree, feeling invincible. But we are not!

Sadly serious injuries, illnesses and death can occur at any age. It is so very important when making that financial commitment in property to consider the bigger picture. It’s the ideal time to discuss what provisions are needed.

Death isn’t exactly a hot topic at the dinner table, but if you do not make provisions for your surviving partner/co-owner and you suddenly pass away, they may face a very nasty shock at an already distressing time.

In the absence of the deceased having made a Will any property belonging to them, regardless as to whom the property is owned with, or for how long it has been owned, may pass by the intestacy rules which may then result in:

• The surviving partner/co-owner receiving none of the deceased’s share of the property! A sad part of the joint adventure which could have been foreseen.
• If a couple have children together then the property may pass entirely to the children, which could leave the surviving parent with many unnecessary and potentially conflicting scenarios for the future.
• If a couple do not have children, then the deceased’s share in any property may then pass to distant relatives, this could leave the surviving partner having to leave their home immediately if the beneficiaries of that property wish to realise their share in the property straight away.

Writing a Will isn’t as daunting or as costly as many people think, and contrary to popular belief, making a Will doesn’t take you one step closer to the end!

Think of it like this; consider your car, or home insurance. You opt for that fully comprehensive package because you are aware that situations can happen outside of your control and you want to have peace of mind that financial protection is in place. A Will can be seen in a similar light. It is all about you making those decisions to help ensure that you are protecting what matters most to you should the unexpected happen.

There’s a first time for everything – so when you are taking that first step onto the property ladder, take time to consider the bigger picture and think of your future as a new home owner.

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