Do I need to make a Will?

Clive Barwell

“My husband/wife will inherit everything when I die whether I make a Will or not” is often heard by financial planners, but is it true? The answer is yes if there are no children, but no if there are.

Since the 23rd of July 2023, when the rules were last changed, the surviving spouse (or Civil Partner) would receive the first £322,000 (up from £270,000) and half of the balance, with the remaining share going to the children (at age 18).


It is not uncommon, particularly in second or subsequent marriages, for the property to be in the name of one party. With average UK property prices being £285,000 (ONS, March 2023), this doesn’t leave much room for savings and investments to be inherited.

Inheritance at 18?

There is also the issue of whether you want children to inherit at 18. What would the 18-year-old you, have done with an inheritance at that age? Is it the same as you would have done at age 21 or 25?

It’s only with a Will that you can ensure your wishes can be implemented without leaving it to chance.

The Financial Conduct Authority do not regulate will writing.

Clive Barwell
About the Author

Clive has been providing financial planning advice and guidance to private clients since entering the profession in 1971, joining Wren Sterling in 2008. Throughout his long career, Clive has specialised in advising clients at and in post-retirement and later life, and this remains his key area of expertise. Clive is a member of SOLLA (the Society of Later Life Advice) and his uses his expertise to support his clients and their families. Clive describes himself as a “financial planning satellite navigation system”, as he maps out the route to his clients’ goals and then helps them avoid the financial obstacles en route. Clients are delighted that with Clive’s help and guidance, whilst on their financial journey, they never have to stop to ask a stranger for directions.