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Tens of millions…

… that’s how many people in the UK don’t have a will.

And what that means in real terms is that the people you want to have what you leave behind, may not be the ones who get it. And more.

Making a will isn’t just for the elderly. Nor is making a will only for people who are ill. It’s good sense for anybody to make a will. For example, if you’re a parent, your will is the only way for you to say what happens to your children should you die while they are still minors.

If you’ve yet to make one or are just thinking about it, you should consider this as an important sooner-rather-than-later step. It’s fairly straightforward, and there’s a host of professionals who can take out the leg-work for you.

We’re a family run business, who have been arranging funerals for five generations and we’ve created a full guide on what to do in the first five days of a loved one passing on. And finding the will is one of the first things we suggest doing thing. The will is usually somewhere at the loved one’s home, at a bank or kept at a solicitor’s office. Some will writing services have the capacity to keep the documents online too.

A Last Will and Testament vs A Living Will

As the title suggests there are two types of will you might consider. A living will (also known as an advanced decision) is where you choose what will happen when you can no longer make or communicate decisions. You might refuse a certain type of medical treatment or request certain practises on religious grounds. You might choose where you want to be cared for… but it’s legally binding and those responsible for your care must follow its guidance.

An advanced decision cannot request that a life be ended.

You might also consider an advanced statement – a list of choices should you become unable to communicate your wishes. Unlike an advanced decision an advanced statement is not legally binding, and acts more as guidelines for those who are taking care of you.

It’s important that if you choose to make a living will you get professional medical and legal advice.

Your will and testament is concerned with your estate, the assets you’ve collected over a lifetime. It’s important for two main reasons:

  • It decides who gets what from your estate.
  • It decides who is responsible for carrying out your wishes.

Without these things the law decides how your estate is distributed. And there’s a strict order of beneficiaries. One major misunderstanding is where a couple aren’t married.

Regardless of how long you’ve been together or how many children you have, if you’re not married your partner is not automatically entitled to any of your estate.

Without one, your estate might be distributed by law, not according to your wishes. People you want to benefit might get left out altogether.

And in 2019 £8m went to the government where wills were not made.

Why You Need a Will

  • Where there is no will, the process can be stressful for families at a time of grief.
  • Your estate will be divided according to law, not your wishes.
  • It can reduce inheritance tax.
  • It’s important if you have dependent family members.
  • You choose your executor.
  • Appointing legal guardians for your children.

So why wouldn’t you get a will?

Reasons include:

  • Wills are considered expensive
  • People think they’re too young to make a will
  • Or they don’t have enough assets to warrant it
  • Or that everything will automatically go to their partner


When you apply for the legal right to manage someone’s estate it’s known as applying for Probate. If there is a will, you’ll get a Grant of Probate. If there is no will you’ll get Letters of Administration.

And if there’s a problem with the probate, such as a dispute as to whether a will exists or not, or a question over who has the right to apply for probate, you can ‘enter a caveat’ before probate is granted.

You can read more about probate on our page here.

A will and testament doesn’t need to be created in special circumstances but it does need to be valid.

But it does need:

  • To explain how your estate should be divided
  • To be made while you were in a position to make the decisions and without pressure from anyone
  • To be signed by you in the presence of two witnesses and signed by two witnesses – who aren’t benefactors.

How S. Stibbards & Sons Can Support You

We’ve been directing funerals since 1867 – that’s five generations of our family. Over that time we’ve grown into one of the most respected and trusted funeral directors in the region. And the values of care, compassion and professionalism that we began our business with, have remained true over those decades. We’re a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors, so we are required to meet their standards of membership.

Stibbards & Sons also offer bereavement support and our team is available to help with coming to terms with your feelings in a safe and confidential environment.

If you need to discuss any element of planning your funeral, or need any advice on what to do next our experienced team are happy to talk with you. Bereavement is a difficult time and extra stress makes it harder.

When a loved one dies it may be unexpected and that’s why the team at Stibbards is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you have a general query you can use the contact form and we’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.

Protecting Loved Ones

If you want to protect loved ones from future stress call us to discuss a pre-paid funeral plan. Not only will it take the stress out of a difficult time, but it you’ll also be protecting yourself against rising funeral cost.

It’s Our Guarantee

Once you’ve paid for your plan you won’t pay anymore, even if the costs of directing the funeral go up. And each plan includes an allowance to cover any extra costs such as burial or cremation fees, someone to officiate over the ceremony (there may be an amount to pay if the third party costs increase beyond the plan).

You also have the option of including a will in your plan so your funeral can be carried out according to your wishes.

With so many people not planning properly for a funeral it’s worth acting sooner rather than later… today if you can.

Get in touch with the team at S. Stibbards & Sons to see how we can help. Phone us on 01702 922267 or email [email protected] and protect your family with a funeral plan from S. Stibbards & Sons.



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Supporting You Along The Way

If you wish to have a discussion with one of our funeral arrangers, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We can talk through yours and your loved one’s needs and discuss how we can best celebrate their life.