When it comes to death the English are a strange bunch, dodging the mention of the hereafter as if their lives depended on it! Sorry, I couldn’t resist that one, but it’s a light-hearted way to approach a topic that is shunned here like no other. The stiff upper lip attitude to death in my humble opinion, as someone coming from Irish stock, is an unhealthy one. In this country you seem to really brush any mention of the grim reaper under the carpet.
On the other hand, our celtic cousins, as well as most Europeans embrace the mystery of it all and see one’s passing much more as a celebration of life.
Whilst this blog is ill-equipped to provide an in-depth analysis into the differering attitudes to leaving this mortal coil with our near neighbours, the evidence for my opinion I feel is substantiated with an article I read in the papers over the weekend.
Apparently ,nearly two-thirds of Britons do not have a will despite the majority of people having a clear idea of who they want to receive their money when they die.
Around 62% of people admitted they did not have a will, rising to 70% among people who had children aged under 18, according to professional advice website Unbiased.co.uk.
The group warned that this could leave many children vulnerable, as under current laws, children who are not named in a will are only entitled to an inheritance if there is no surviving spouse or an estate is worth more than £250,000.
If people die without a will, meaning they are intestate, their assets are divided up in a strict order, and if no-one comes forward to claim their estate it goes to the crown.
The survey went on to demonstrate what a messy business it is if you don’t leave a will, all providing a huge headache for loved ones at a time of immense grief and stress.
What is even odder is that the high number of people without a will is despite the fact that 92% of those questioned said they had a clear idea of how they wanted their assets to be divided up when they died!
Basically, it’s all madness.
Now I’m a rare one, but I’ve actually made a will despite only being in my 40s.
It really wasn’t that difficult... a straightforward chat and then a meeting with a solicitor and job done, it wasn’t too costly so it seems like a job well done.
It is also fortunate that here at thebestofsolihull we have solicitors Harris, Cooper Brownings, who are well-versed in the matters of Will Writing, another reliable method of ensuring your life’s work goes to those you love instead of the tax man.
So, it’s high time you English accepted your own mortality and make a date to do it now, before it’s too late.