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Why People Under 40 Should Have a Will

Published on 21 October 2019 | Modified on 14 December 2022

Written by Stacey Bennett

Making a will is not something that is reserved for the older generation. People under 40 should also consider a will. Assuming, you’re too young to make a will can mean that families of people who die unexpectedly are left in tricky situations. Not having a will can cause no end of unnecessary difficulties if you should pass away. Loved ones will need to navigate the sometimes unclear and unfair laws of intestacy. They may need to find suitable guardians for young children, or mediate between feuding family members.

Having a will drawn up when you are still young might seem like a daunting exercise. But with professional advice, it’s a stress-free process. With the correct plans in place, it will leave you with peace of mind and confidence that you have full control over your affairs.

Here are some things to consider if you are under 40 and do not yet have a will drawn up:


Without a will in place, if you pass away and the other parent survives you then they will, usually, become the child’s primary carer. However, if both parents pass away, and there is no will in place, there is no longer any adult with parental responsibility or legal guardianship for your children.

In these circumstances, social services may need to become involved to help ensure that your children are placed with someone to care for them on a long term basis.  Whilst they always try to place children within the family, there is no guarantee. Nor is there any certainty that the person you would have wanted to care for your children would even be considered. Unless you appoint someone in your will.

In your under 40 will, you can appoint whomever you wish to be the legal guardian for your children. Social services may still become involved if your nominated guardians are unable or unsuitable. This may be due to old age, location or their own family needs. But you will have peace of mind that you have done everything you can to secure their well being.


There is no such thing as the ‘typical family’.  3.3 million couples chose to cohabit without getting married in 2017 alone. This is a reflection of a modern society where people want to spend their lives together but don’t choose to marry.

The false assumption many unmarried couples make is that if they live together for a certain amount of time, or if they are engaged, then they are considered ‘common law spouses’. They may make the mistake to think that they share the same rights as married couples. This is simply not. Unless a will is in place to ensure that your partner inherits what you want them to, your estate will be distributed to your wider family according to the rules of intestacy.

If you own your home, it is even more important to make a will. This is because unless you own your property as ‘Joint Tenants’*, your share (which could be 100% if you are a sole owner) will pass to your wider family and your partner will be relying on their goodwill to keep a roof over their head.

Making a will provides you and your partner with security in the knowledge that if either of you passes away, the other won’t be left in an uncomfortable situation with the in-laws.

How to create an under 40 will?

You may have a long term partner that you would wish to inherit from your estate. Alternatively, you may rather a close friend or a charity benefited from your estate due to family circumstances. Without a will in place, you have no say in where your money goes once you have passed away. Making a will allows you to have full control over your estate. This control prevents distant family from benefiting from your hard-earned wealth unless you explicitly want to include them.

Making an under 40 will should be an easy and stress-free process, whilst being an important tool to enable you to ensure that those you love and care about are looked after should the worst happen, especially if this is in unexpected circumstances. For peace of mind, contact one of our expert solicitors today on 0800 470 1420

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